Council OKs daycare zoning changes
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
Changes in regulations for home and church daycares were approved last week, ending months of discussions over where and how children are cared for.
Hartselle's City Council approved two separate ordinances last week. One deals with daycares in private housing; the other concerns zoning regulations for churches that offer child care.
Under the home day care ordinance, providers must now restrict play areas to the back yard and enclose the area with at least a 4-foot high privacy fence.
Other regulations include providing off-street parking for at least four cars and limitations on signage at home daycares.
The ordinance also prohibits all group daycares.
The council had considered allowing group daycares that would have allowed for up to 12 children to be cared for in a home but struck down that proposal last month.
Home daycares in Hartselle are currently limited to seven children.
The other ordinance regulates church-based daycares. Existing zoning regulations did not include provisions for church daycares and city leaders wanted some policy regarding their operation. The changes allow churches to apply to operate a daycare in all residential zones.