In-home daycare businesses may become a hot topic at upcoming Board of Commissioner meetings.
An ordinance amendment that would do away with the requirement for a public hearing may be proposed, according to spokesperson Julie Mills.
Currently, a special use permit for an in-home daycare facility (which takes care of six or fewer children) is treated like a re-zoning and requires a public hearing with the Board of Commissioners and Planning Commission, which could take anywhere from 90 to 120 days. The permit costs $400.
During the public comments at the June 29 Board of Commissioners work session, Rockdale resident and in-home daycare facility owner Rebecca Hyde said that she found the county's special use permit requirement a "hurdle" to home daycare businesses.
"It's not as if in having an in home day care there is major traffic. We're only allowed up to six kids," she said.
Hyde explained that she opened her daycare facility because she wanted to be closer to her 86-year-old mother. "I'm not running a day care because I can't afford my mortgage," said Hyde, who said she had worked in the corporate world for 26 years for AT&T.
Commissioner Oz Nesbitt spoke in favor of doing away with the special use permit for in-home daycares as an extension of the county's business friendly approach. Commissioner JaNice Van Ness said that she favored reducing the special use permit fees and speeding up the process but that she didn't want to do away with the permit process altogether.
"There needs to be some way that I as a neighbor would know what is going on next to me," she said.
A change to the ordinance on in-home daycare facilities was denied by the board in August 2008. Van Ness was on the board at the time, as well as former commissioners Jason Hill and former Chairman Roy Middlebrooks.