Following through on a proposal first made as part of the government’s recent Child Care Initiative, Arlington County Board members on July 16 voted to reduce the amount of parking needed for certain child-care centers run by families.

The previous ratio of one space per eight children will be reduced to one space per 10 children under a zoning-ordinance amendment adopted on a 5-0 vote.

The action “will make more locations viable for child-care centers and reduce costs associated with maintaining unneeded parking,” County Board Chairman Christian Dorsey said after the vote. “Taken together, these steps can reduce operator costs and make child care more affordable.”

Three days earlier, County Board members voted to formalize an ordinance allowing day-care facilities in homes caring for nine or fewer children to operate “by right” (without zoning approval) as long as they meet all licensing requirements.

That change was aimed at reducing the bureaucratic burden and cost for small day-care facilities, and also was a recommendation of the Child Care Initiative.

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Translation: More small homes in residential neighborhoods repurposed for childcare with the neighborhood streets jammed by parents driving big SUVs dropping off and picking up children. Many of the parents drive from other jurisdictions, but as usual there is no estimate of how much this County provides in the way of services to non-residents who have no childcare and similar services in their back yards.

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