On May 26, 2015, Executive Committee directed Administration to prepare Zoning Bylaw amendments to reduce barriers and facilitate further development of child care services across the city, particularly in the downtown and industrial areas (see item 6.5).
Amendments to Zoning Bylaw 12800 were approved by City Council and came into effect on May 25, 2016 (Item 3.5).
The approved text amendments assist in making Child Care Services more accessible in Edmonton:
- Adding Child Care Services to (IB) Business Industrial and (IL) Light Industrial zones.
- Reducing the employee parking requirement for child care services located in specific pedestrian oriented or transit oriented locations, or within 120 metres of a public parkade or parking garage. To facilitate this reduction applying to parkades only.
- Allowing more flexibility regarding the location of passenger pick-up/drop-off spaces.
- Removing the requirement for child care services to be part of a separate building when it is part of a multi-tenant development, such as a residential apartment.
- Relaxing the location criteria for child care services in residential areas to increase the number of sites available, but also removing the ability to open a Child Care Service midblock in a residential area.
- Providing a defined list of hazardous uses that a Child Care Service cannot be adjacent to, and specifying what would satisfy the requirement for being a safe distance from a hazardous use.
- Rewriting the Special Land Use Regulations (Zoning Bylaw Section 80), and updating the application form and application completeness checklist to improve consistency in application review and reduce processing delays.
Administration completed a telephone survey of child care services operating in Edmonton between March 6 and March 9, 2015. A follow-up telephone survey was completed between August and September, 2015, asking the participants about parking, how children and staff get to the facilities, and to gather ideas to improve the wording in Zoning Bylaw 12800 regulations. Feedback collected from the surveys was used to informed the proposed bylaw amendments.