Metro-East News

St. Clair zoning board gives blessing to day care at church

The St. Clair County Zoning Board of Appeals recommended the County Board approve the proposal from Abundant Life Ministries to run a day care at a former Belle Valley School.

The day care would be allowed to operate between 6 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, under parameters recommended by the zoning board. County Board members are scheduled to vote on the day care proposal on Nov. 28.

The positive recommendation comes after neighbors Gregg Williams and Walter O’Brien who each own a portion of Andora Drive and a gate leading up the former Belle Valley North, agreed to allow access on their road from 6:30 to 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. five days a week for day care operations.

O’Brien said the access would allow for safe and efficient traffic flow during peak drop-off and pick-up times.

O’Brien also said the church should be mindful of traffic concerns of the subdivision.

“We intend to handle this matter as good neighbors and communicate concerns as they arise, but we also reserve our right to close and seal the gate if so warranted,” O’Brien said.

The County Board recently approved the church moving into the school, at 100 Andora Drive near Belleville, and to hold services on Sunday and Tuesday.

Last month the zoning board held off on making a recommendation on the proposed day care amid concerns of traffic flow, and to see if day-to-day access to the building could be resolved.

The day care would be for children up to 5 years old, but during the summer the age range would expand to 12 years old, county officials have said.

Church Pastor Nathan Johnson has said the day care would start small, with special days for parents who need to have someone watch their children while they run errands.