Childcare space trumps parking concerns for city council

Regina’s city council approved an application for a Harbour Landing daycare to expand its capacity.

The decision came as many councillors believed that daycare space is more important than parking space, including Coun. Andrew Stevens.

“I am going to weigh in favour of childcare, which is desperately needed, and I think there has been a case made in the community that people want this facility in a residential area.”

Council approved that the daycare can now provide care for up to 30 children, up from 12, despite concerns from neighbouring residents.

Opposition to a commercial business adjacent to homes due to the safety of kids and increased traffic and parking issues.

Jenna Rodriguez, who used the daycare, said she has never experienced parking issues nor worried about the safety of her kids.

“I’ve never encountered that. We live across the street from the Harbour Landing School, and we have cars parked for far longer than a quick daycare drop off and pick-up waiting for kids to pick up after school and drop off before school,” she said. “It’s just such a quick drop-off and pick-up process.”

City administration had recommended in its report that the application be denied as it didn’t comply with zoning bylaw parking requirements and that traffic congestion would cause parking issues.

The bylaw requires one parking stall and three drop-off spaces for daycares that look after up to 30 children.

The building currently has two garage parking spaces and two drop-off spaces, which means an additional temporary spot on the street would be needed.

“If I were to choose between street parking and adequate child care, I would certainly side with child care,” Stevens said.

The requirement for an additional temporary parking spot was waived by council.

Council’s decision wasn’t unanimous, as Councillors Hawkins, Lori Bresciani, Cheryl Stadnichuk and John Findura voted to deny the application.

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