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County Board to Consider Loosening Daycare Parking Requirements

The Arlington County Board is considering lowering daycare parking space minimums for the second time this year.

During a Board meeting earlier this month, members scheduled public hearings in July on lowering the number of parking spaces child care centers must have. This comes after members modified parking minimums three months ago — from one space per employee down to one space per eight children.

The new request would lower the number of parking spaces down to one space per 10 children. If approved, the change would only apply to daycares within a third of a mile of a bus or Metro stop.

Public hearings will be held on Tuesday, July 9, at a Planning Commission meeting, and Saturday, July 13 during the regular County Board meeting in Courthouse.

Zoning changes are the latest steps in a years long discussion over how to help parents afford the rising cost of childcare as demand far exceeds available space and costs have risen to the highest in the region.

The Planning Commission has recommended county code be changed to allow only one space per childcare facility. But county staff brushed off the suggestion in a recent report to the Board, saying it would “pose significant impacts to the County’s review process and potentially increase pick-up/drop-off impacts from child care centers on their surrounding neighborhoods.”

The Board’s vote in March also allowed daycares and summer camps to care for up to nine by right after staff called the county’s lengthy use permit process a “significant barrier” to encouraging more daycare business.

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