A Spanish immersion day care proposed for a site on Glazier Avenue in Apple Valley has gotten the OK from the City Council.
On July 11, the council approved plans related to constructing a two-story, 12,200-square-foot building, which will house the Jardin Spanish Immersion Academy.
The project applicants, Frauenshuh Commercial Real Estate and Kilber Investments LLC, were seeking to split an existing 1.86-acre parcel into two new lots. They were also seeking approval of a conditional use permit for the day care and a site plan review and building authorization for construction, according to the city. The council approved all the requests.
The site at 14605 Glazier Ave. now has a vacant office building on it. Plans call for the building to remain on a 41,437-square-foot lot and the day care to be built on a second, 36,800-square-foot lot.
Jardin Spanish Immersion Academy serves children from 6 weeks old through preschool and offers a multicultural Spanish immersion curriculum. There are five Jardin locations in Minneapolis, St. Paul and Eden Prairie.
â€œJardin is committed to equipping young children with Spanish language and critical thinking skills, a global mindset, and teaching children to embrace healthy habits and a sense of caring for the environment,â€ Jardinâ€™s website states.
The property for the proposed day care center was initially developed in 1990 with a parking lot on the north half of the site to allow for more development. Glazier Townhomes is south of the site while Valley South, a single family subdivision, is east, according to the city.
City Planner Kathy Bodmer said residents at a Planning Commission public hearing in May asked what the benefits are to residential properties, why the development was being done in that location and how the day care would affect property values.
â€œThe city really doesnâ€™t evaluate developments based on benefits to adjacent property owners. Instead, we are required by law to follow zoning code, subdivision code, Minnesota state statutes,â€ she said. â€œThatâ€™s what we use when we review a project and the fact of the matter is, when someone brings a project forward and it meets the requirements of the zoning code, then we have to bring it through our process.â€
Bodmer noted that several concerns were also raised during the public hearing about how the day care and another development proposed 250 feet east of Cedar Avenue along the north side of 145th Street would affect neighborhood traffic.
She said the city engineer decided to analyze both developments at the same time to make sure there would be no compounding issues.
â€œTheir findings were, yes, traffic will increase in the area but (the) Cedar Avenue-145th Street intersection is large enough to accommodate that increased traffic,â€ she said. â€œAnother note from the planning perspective is the day care will be closed evenings and weekends which will help to take some of that impact off of the neighbors.â€
According to the city, an outdoor play area is planned on the west side of the building, which will be secured with a pre-finished metal picket-style fence. The site will be accessed with a single driveway, and a 6-foot privacy fence will be installed along the south property line.
Bodmer said the floor plans indicate that the first floor of the building will have four large rooms for infants and toddlers. The second floor will have three large rooms for preschool and pre-kindergarten, a gymnasium, a break room and a kitchen.
Patty Dexter can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.