Langford council unanimously approved a rezoning on Sooke Road which would see a daycare more than double the number of children allowed for its building size under current bylaws, which is 20.
Alphabet Zoo Early Learning Centre daycare at 2619 Sooke Rd. was granted a temporary permit in 2017 which enabled them to take in 28 children, but that permit expired in March. The 20-child maximum relates to facilities less than 1,099 square metres – Alphabet Zoo’s building is 751 sq. m.
The successful rezoning application not only allows them to stay in their current location, their legal capacity will now be 44 children.
Alphabet Zoo’s owners had been looking to move the daycare to a new lot in Colwood, an application that angered residents living nearby and was eventually defeated at Colwood council.
But during the Oct. 4 public hearing at Langford, no concerns were raised from community members and the rezoning was approved unanimously by council.
“We’ve had no problems at all, the City of Langford has been lovely,” said Laura-Lee Johnson, manager of Alphabet Zoo. “They know that there’s a crisis for childcare.”
The one proviso coming from city engineering staff was that the city would need to spend $6,000 to redo the sidewalk in front of the lot.