Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Goddard School Zoning Declined

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Goddard School Zoning Declined

Article excerpt

Despite the wishes of some parents, Upper St. Clair won't be home to a Goddard School anytime soon.

Township commissioners Monday declined to amend zoning regulations that would have allowed preschools in residential areas.

"We want to help the community. We want to provide services to the community," said Alexander Bunson, owner of property on North Highland Road. "We're not frying chicken. We're not serving alcohol."

Mr. Bunson's property is next to a KinderCare Learning Center and would have been the perfect location for a Goddard School, he said.

"There's nothing more constant than change," resident JoAnne Reed said. "We need a Goddard School in this community."

Resident Kim Burchill said she sends her children to the nearest Goddard, on McMurray Road in Peters, though she would prefer a location closer to home.

"I pay a lot of money to send my kids there, and I wouldn't want it any other way," she said.

But many residents who live near the site said traffic is already "horrendous" since the opening last year of a Trader Joe's market nearby.

With a projected enrollment of about 180 students, residents said they were worried about traffic jams.

"I don't think that school is the perfect fit for that location," resident Andrew James said.

The company has 385 franchises across the U.S., including locally in Moon, Wexford and Cranberry. The schools, based in King of Prussia, Pa., provide child care and preschool for children ages 6 weeks through 6 years.

Commissioners said they didn't doubt the value of the school, but said they were reluctant to alter long-standing zoning regulations for a single property.

"I just don't know if it's conducive to this neighborhood," Commissioner Russell Del Re said.

Preschools are allowed elsewhere in the township in commercially zoned districts or in residential neighborhoods if they are part of a religious facility. Though it's next door, the KinderCare facility is in Mt. Lebanon and not subject to the same zoning rules. …

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