Saturday , 23 October 2021
The proposed site of the Happy House daycare in Bonnyville.

Daycare wanting in to Bonnyville hopeful Town approves despite location and parking concerns

The proposed site of the Happy House daycare in Bonnyville.

Uta Squire is looking to expand her daycare business to Bonnyville.

The Happy House daycare, which she owns and operates, has two locations in Cold Lake and is hoping to move into the industrial area of Bonnyville – that is if the Town allows.

Bonnyville town council had concerns with the proposed location of 6210 50 Ave just off of Highway 28/Main Street and that Squire would be lacking 11 parking stalls.

Council and Squire are set to meet again next Tuesday after the town delayed a decision on approving the daycare following administration’s recommendation to deny it.

“We know that the need is there,” said Squire.

“The daycare in Bonnyville is full and there’s a huge need.”

Happy House has a pending license for 140 plus children with 24 staff members, town documents say.

Squire says there are children already on a waiting list and staff ready to move to Bonnyville, after passing through the regulatory steps.

But that’s only if the Town approves the location.

A recommendation to refuse the request came because the daycare does not fit the zoning criteria of the highway industrial area and the building is deficient in 11 parking stalls, according to town bylaws, which come at a penalty over $25,000.

There were also concerns from neighbouring landowners whether the amount of traffic could be dangerous or if it would preclude certain businesses from moving in beside it.

“It’s an industrial area where you can have bulk stations, fuels, dangerous liquids, and lots of noise and welding and things like that…it is atypical,” said Mayor Gene Sobolewski on The Morning After.

“It’s not that we don’t want [it], we just want to see whether or not there’s maybe some more suited zones and more suited areas,” he said.

If given the approval from town council, the daycare would provide before and after school care and be open Monday-Friday.

“There’s nothing growing there. When you drive around Bonnyville how many empty warehouses are there? There’s quite a few,” she said.

“But the biggest thing is too is I need so many parking spots stalls. So where am I going to go? I have to go on the outskirts to get something that has a lot of parking,” she said.

“I think it’s safer in that location, then trying to find something downtown. Because downtown, you’re dealing with so much congestion. That’s a safety factor right there.”

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.