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HOPKINTONâ On Monday night, the Hopkinton Town Council amended several zoning ordinances to allow a day care facility for children to be located at 111 Main St., Hope Valley.
Christine Austin and Amy Vachon, future proprietors of The Kids Company had already filed the necessary petitions to open a day care center, which the town council heard on June 3 and June 17, 2013. The problem in front of the council was that the day careâs location was in a neighborhood business zone, which limits permitted uses to real estate offices or professional offices.
After Councilor Barbara Capalbo made a motion to add âday care centerâ as a new category to the permitted uses in a neighborhood business zone, discussion ensued on water usage, septic systems, and Hope Valleyâs water line vis-a-vis the size of Hopkintonâs land lots, which range from 0.09 acre to more than two acres.
Council Vice President Sylvia Thompson said she did not want an amendment that would allow day care centers to be located on Hopkintonâs small land parcels, especially those located along Hope Valleyâs water line. She also said she was familiar with the townâs septic and water problems from the 1980s and 1990s and wanted the Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to evaluate the proposal for the day care center.
Thompson then moved to amend Capalboâs motion to a special use permit for the day careâs location.
âItâs another hoop to have to jump through but some of Hopkintonâs lots are small,â she said.
Capalbo said that she was still in favor of day care centers in neighborhood business zones âby rightâ rather than by special permit.
âI think this is one of the most innocuous uses known to man. I think itâs fabulous to have small children, I think they make neighborhoods safer. I think this kind of business is to be encouraged, to be welcomed,â she said.
âDaycare centers can be on one eighth of an acre to several acres. They do not have a heavy use of water,â she added.
For the rest of this story and more local news, pick up the July 4 issue of the Chariho Times.