Okotoks daycare proposed in residential area worries locals

Residents living in Okotoks, Alta., say they are concerned about the public safety, noise and traffic issues that a new daycare planned for their neighbourhood would bring.

Neighbours say the daycare will bring traffic backups, noise

This is the street in front of a proposed daycare facility that would take in up to 71 children. Local residents are concerned the centre would bring traffic headaches to the area. (CBC)

Residents living in Okotoks, Alta., say they are concerned about the public safety, noise and traffic issues that a new daycare planned for their neighbourhood would bring.

Marketing plans show a daycare centre has been in the works for Drake Landing since 2009.

Amanda Preston, who lives in the neighbourhood, is opposed to the proposal. 

"I would venture about 85 to 90 per cent of the people who lived in the community, which at that time was about 100 houses, weren't even aware that there was a child-care facility being placed here," she said. 

Preston agrees daycare is needed in Okotoks but is questioning the location.

"We had no idea. When someone says a small facility you are think maybe 20 or 30 children not the size proposed, which is going to be the size of a small school," she said.

The proposed facility would take in 71 children.

Preston said there is a narrow single-lane road in the area and some feel there are public safety issues as many residents park on the street that only has a sidewalk on one side. There are also older students gathering in the area to catch their school bus.

"When you have 71 people potentially dropping their children off here, there is already people leaving for work at those times and kids crossing to reach the bus," she said. "That's when the neighbourhood started becoming very concerned about the size and magnitude of the proposed child-care site." 

Preston said they also have concerns about noise and having only one playground in the area for the daycare and local children.

Roughly 180 neighbours have signed a petition against the facility. Preston and others have even taken the town to court over it. 

Town officials declined an interview on the issue, saying they don't want to comment on the issue before it comes to a subdivision appeal board hearing on Oct. 1.


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