A proposed child care center in Courthouse is likely to be approved by the County Board at this weekend’s meeting, but it is not without some controversy.
Residents of the Woodbury Heights Condominiums have raised concerns about the proximity of the proposed Bright Horizons child care center to Arlington’s Homeless Services Center, according to the county staff report.
Several tenants of the Courthouse condominium building publicly opposed the homeless shelter prior to its construction due to safety and property value concerns.
The 24-hour homeless shelter is at 2020 14th Street N., and the child care facility would be at 2000 14th Street N. That’s a distance of less than 330 feet, according to a Google Maps estimate.
Pending approval, the child care center would also be near Ragtime restaurant, as well as Arlington County Police headquarters, the county jail and the county courthouse.
The center is slated to have a maximum permitted enrollment of 136 children, but the number could be set lower by Arlington’s Dept. of Human Services if deemed necessary.
County staff concluded that “the proposed location of the Bright Horizons child care center is not anticipated to cause an undue adverse impact on the surrounding community and will provide a valuable service at the proposed location.”
The report added that the site has adequate parking spaces and public transportation access. The child care center would convert 10,868 square feet of office space into child care use. An outdoor plaza would be converted into a 4,645 square foot outdoor play space enclosed by a five foot fence.
The Radnor/Ft. Myer Heights Civic Association did not object to the child care center and several nearby apartment buildings did not respond to county staff’s notification, according to county documents.
The child care center would help with the county’s lack of available child care services. The shortage of child care options — particularly affordable options — relative to demand prompted the launch of the county’s Child Care Initiative in December.
Bright Horizons has agreed to operate from Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m.-7 p.m. The child care chain has three locations in Arlington already — in Rosslyn, Ballston, and Crystal City — and has dozens across the country.
Attempts to reach a current representative of the Woodbury Heights Condominium Association were unsuccessful.
Photo via Arlington County
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