Bridgeland condo dwellers oppose plans for daycare

Residents of condo building McPherson Place are speaking out against plans for an infants-only daycare on the ground level of their building, citing concerns about parking and safety.

Residents of McPherson Place are speaking out against plans for 70-spot daycare on ground floor

Some residents of a Bridgeland condo are opposing plans for a daycare for infants on the ground floor of their building. (CBC)

Residents of the Bridgeland housing development McPherson Place are speaking out against plans for an infants-only daycare on the ground level of their building. 

Condo dwellers have taken to a Facebook page for the building to express concerns about parking, safety and garbage management. 

"The idea of losing more parking space on the street and the noise and constant interruption of our living space is awful," writes one resident.

"Had we known it was going to be a daycare, most of us would not have moved in the building."

Anil Karim, executive director of the Kids U daycare company, said he was surprised by the negative responses. 

"I think it's uncertainty," he told the Calgary Eyeopener. "They look at it as: 'Wow, what's going to happen and how is this going to affect my daily life?'"

Karim intends to open a centre with 70 spots that caters to babies. 

"What we wanted to do was create a space that accepted children from six months to 18 months old, so as mothers are returning back to work, or families who are going back to work, where do they put their kids?" he said. 

Many of the concerns from residents don't make sense, like the claim the daycare will take up parking space, Karim said. 

"It's a mixed use property.You've got retail at the bottom and you've residential at the top so ... what business wouldn't take away parking?" he said. "If you were to open a convenience store, a liquor store, a dollar store, a restaurant ... then parking would be constant."

Residents can file appeal with city 

It is already difficult for daycares to find spaces to lease without this opposition, said Karim, and it's especially difficult in a retail space. 

"You have to apply for a development permit and the build process, you're looking at four to six months if you want to open a centre, and then to find a place," he said. 

A neighbourhoods's reception to a daycare can depend on the age of the residents, he said.

"When they have children, daycares are the hot item, right," he said. "They want to have a daycare in the neighbourhood and once the children are of age it becomes something that's put into the backside of your mind."

The City of Calgary awarded Karim a change of use development permit earlier this month. Residents have until Sept. 26 to file an appeal, according to a note from the condo's housing society posted to the Facebook page. 

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