Homewood restricts locations of day care centers, approves new salon

Village board members Tuesday approved a zoning ordinance amendment limiting where day care centers can be located in Homewood.

The new regulations bar or require special-use permits for child care centers in the downtown business area, a shopping center district in the far northeast portion of the village and a portion of the service business district from the southwest corner of 183rd Street and Governors Highway south to Cherry Creek Drive. 

In a memo to the board, Director of Economic and Community Development Angela Mesaros said day care centers can create problems for retail businesses in the surrounding area.
“Child care centers are service uses and can generate additional traffic,” Mesaros said in an email to the Chronicle. “We had concerns about pick up (and) drop off interfering with traffic patterns.”

The new rules are part of a greater effort within Homewood to review business zoning. 

“We are reviewing the use lists in our commercial districts, specifically in this case the appropriateness of service uses at locations intended as retail shopping centers,” Mesaros said. “Residential and service commercial areas are more appropriate locations for service businesses.”

The village surveyed several other towns in the area with zoning regulations for day care centers, including LaGrange, Elmhurst, Oak Park, Evanston, Naperville, Geneva and Winnetka. Mesaros said many didn’t allow child care centers in retail-use areas, transit-oriented districts, downtown core districts or shopping centers.

The move does not affect businesses already located within those areas, but disallows any expansion or relocation within the same district. If a business is closed for more than 30 days, it cannot reopen with those zones. 

The board also approved special-use and parking permits Tuesday for a new salon at 18673 Dixie Highway, inside a multi-tenant building that includes Reflections Yoga Center. Owner Latonya Animashaun leased one 500-square-foot unit. 

The planning and zoning commission recommended the special-use approval 4-2. The two votes against were concerned about the parking variance when the building is fully occupied, according to a memo from Mesaros to the board. The building now is 40 percent vacant.

Current zoning requirements would require 37 parking spaces for the property; only 22 exist.

Animashaun plans to hire two employees and have two chairs in the salon. The business will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed on Sundays and Mondays.
 

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