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PLACENTIA : Planning Agency OKs Mall Day-Care Center

August 26, 1995|RUSS LOAR

The city's first shopping center day-care business won approval from the Planning Commission this week despite concerns about safety at the busy location.

Orville Marlett, owner of five Dedicated 2 Kids day-care centers in Orange and San Diego counties, will operate a 7,400-square-foot center in a new shopping center at Rose Drive and Alta Vista Street. The facility includes an 11,000-square-foot outdoor play area and will accommodate 144 children.

Construction of the shopping center is to be completed in about six months.

The Planning Commission this week voted 5 to 2 to grant the business a conditional-use permit. Planning Commissioner Patricia Shoemaker cast one of two votes against the day-care center, saying the design does not adequately shield children from shopping center traffic.

"I'm not opposed to placing day-care centers in proximity to employment areas," Shoemaker said. "But it should be designed so that it protects and separates it physically from the rest of the activity in the area."

Four of the five day-care centers owned by Marlett are in shopping centers, including locations in Yorba Linda and Anaheim Hills. Marlett said the Placentia site, at the end of a strip of storefronts planned near Alta Vista Street, is safe.

"It's a relatively new concept," Marlett said, "but there are other companies that are also doing this."

Questions were also raised about the proximity of the day-care center to a planned service station and car wash. But city officials say the state Department of Social Services will not allow the business to operate if it is too close to gasoline and other hazardous materials.

"Our position is that this has to be licensed by the state," said Joyce Rosenthal, city director of development services. "We're not assuming that responsibility."

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