6.4 Day Care

Day care operations, as defined in these Regulations, are subject to the requirements listed below and other applicable regulations.

  1. For any child day care operation, a graded and suitably fenced play area, including a minimum of 75 square feet of play space for each child who would be using the play area at any one time, shall be provided.
    1. The minimum required play area shall be free of hazards and regulated wetland soils, provide a suitable play surface, and shall be a minimum of 1% but not in excess of 3% in grade.
    2. Where the existing topography and conditions present unique circumstances which will not compromise child safety, the Planning and Zoning Commission may, by Special Permit, increase the maximum play area grade requirement to 5%.
    3. Active play areas, defined as areas containing playground equipment, including, but not limited to, swings and other apparatus, shall not exceed 1% in grade.
    4. Outdoor play activities shall only take place within the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 6:00 p.m
  2. For any adult day care operation, a suitably graded and fenced outdoor area of at least 75 square feet for each person who would be using the area at any one time shall be provided.
  3. Group day care homes and child day care centers shall provide a buffer strip within the boundaries of the lot with appropriate fencing and landscaping of suitable type, density and height to effectively screen the daycare activities from the neighboring properties.
    1. The width of the buffer strip shall be at least as follows:
      • Residential Districts - 10 feet
      • Commercial Districts - 15 feet
      • Industrial Districts - 25 feet
    2. The buffer area shall be designed to mitigate impacts from adjacent uses as well, particularly in cases where centers are located in commercial and industrial districts.
    3. This buffer requirement shall typically be applied to the portion of the site dedicated to day care use including such items as play area(s).
    4. The play area or areas shall not be located within the designated buffer area.
    5. The Commission may, by Special Permit, reduce the width requirement of the buffer area where:
      • existing topography, landscaping, and/or other features provide an adequate buffer and screening, or
      • lot size and shape or existing structures make it infeasible to comply with the minimum widths required above, provided screening (planting, fences, berms, etc.) or other methods are utilized to ensure the buffer area meets the intent of the Regulations.
  4. Child day care centers in the R-5.1 zone shall be developed only on sites which contain a minimum of five acres and include a public or private elementary school.
  5. Unless otherwise specifically approved by the Commission, day care operations shall only operate from 6 am to 8 pm.
  6. The applicant shall accommodate all pedestrian and vehicular traffic to and on the site, and shall provide an acceptable area for dropping off children or patrons on site. To the extent possible, parking stalls for public use shall be located so as to preclude pedestrian crossing of interior drives.
  7. All State and/or local licensing and permit requirements/standards shall be met including special or coastal flood hazard area development standards to demonstrate to the Commission’s satisfaction that hazards to life and property are minimized.