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Daycare option is back on the table at The Boardwalk

July 25, 2012   

WATERLOO REGION — Residents may cause a stink Tuesday as Waterloo Region’s landfill liaison committee debates the possibility of a daycare near the local landfill.

Owners of The Boardwalk project are planning an extension that would include two office buildings and possibly a daycare, but the region and city are eyeing the daycare option with caution.

“I try not to be judgmental about what I believe I would do for my kid,” said Waterloo Coun. Mark Whaley, who sits on the committee. “Who am I to say that it’s too stinky for their kid?”

In first phase of the project in 2009, a stipulation was made that no daycare with outdoor space would be built.

Whaley said he will be interested in input from “mothers and grandmothers.”

The developers say the nearly 3,500 people who would work at The Boardwalk when it’s finished could use the daycare, as well as families on the west side of Waterloo. They say there have been several requests.

The proposed location for the child care space would be about a kilometre from the landfill, according to Vince Varga, an in-house planner for the Boardwalk developers, who said nothing was set in stone.

“We’re asking permission to consider a daycare,” Varga said.

He said the company had no interest in ruining its relationship with the community or endangering anyone.

“We’re not going to do anything that isn’t reasonable and safe,” Varga said. “Our kids will be maybe going to this daycare, or our grandkids.”

If the region and city don’t approve, he said another use would be found. If they do, Varga said it is up to the province to grant a licence for operation.

Carl Kaufman is a member of the liaison committee.

“Why would a daycare centre be bad?” Kaufman said. “There’s nothing bad about it. They need a daycare centre out there.”

He doesn’t oppose the use and instead has made it his personal mission to see the landfill shut down, Kaufman said.

A zoning amendment was presented to Waterloo council in May, under which the request to consider a daycare was made.

Now the city awaits feedback from the landfill committee and Region of Waterloo before giving its approval and sending the project forward.

City planner Trevor Hawkins said a decision on the zoning application would likely be made in the fall.

The liaison committee meets Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the landfill administration building, 925 Erb St. W., Waterloo. The meeting is open to the public.

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