MINOT, N.D. — A committee will recommend that the city of Minot eliminate a costly permit requirement following child care providers’ complaints.
The city passed a zoning ordinance change in 2013 to require home day cares with more than 14 children to obtain conditional use permits. The permits cost $250, and applicants also must post a $1,250 fee to cover city costs. Any portion of the fee not needed is returned to the applicant, the Minot Daily News reported.
“The fee is the issue,” said day care provider Monica Reich, a member of the committee Mayor Chuck Barney appointed earlier this month to look into the matter. Providers are happy to comply with new rules if they increase child safety, but providers aren’t sure how the permit requirement does that, she said.
“I feel like we got hit with this out of the blue,” Reich said.
The permit requirement came about as the city was working with a consultant on updating ordinances. Ward County Social Services began notifying day care providers this fall during their license renewals, and surprised providers took their concerns to the City Council.
“When the fees begin to rise, then that becomes an issue for a lot of people,” said Bonnie Oakes, another provider on the committee. “There’s a real need for day care in our area. I would hate to think that cost would deter anybody.”
The committee will recommend to the Minot Planning Commission on Nov. 30 that the ordinance be amended to require the permits only for home day cares with more than 18 children. City Council President Mark Jantzer, chairman of the committee, said he supports the proposal.
“The fee is substantial,” he said.
Information from: Minot Daily News, http://www.minotdailynews.com
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