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Meeting to Watch: Sevastopol

Child Care Center Rezoning Heading to County Board

A new child care center that would allow for the care of 60 additional children has checked off another required approval on its way toward construction. 

The latest approval is a rezoning endorsement from the Door County Resource Planning Committee (RPC) – a rezoning that had also been approved by the Town of Sevastopol and will now head to the full Door County Board of Supervisors on Sept. 27.

The vacant land is a 25.78-acre parcel off Gordon Road at the intersection of Old Highway Road, just west of the Highway 42/57 intersection. The approval from the RPC last week would change about nine acres of the land on the northeast corner to Commercial Center, keeping the remainder in Countryside zoning. 

Alexis Fuller, applying for the rezoning on behalf of the Sharon A. Poehler Trust, founded and leads the nonprofit that runs the Door Community Child Development Center at 1743 Egg Harbor Road in Sturgeon Bay. 

She cut the ribbon on that facility on Sept. 19, 2020, less than three months after the former Barker Child Development Center, for which Fuller had been the director, went out of business. Two years later, Fuller’s center cares for 110 children, she told the RPC during last week’s hearing. The new center will be larger to accommodate the additional 60 children.

The land that’s not used for the building will be used as open space and nature-based trails for the community, Fuller said. The center will also provide pre-K for the Sevastopol and Sturgeon Bay School Districts.

The land is designated for residential use on the town’s and county’s future land-use maps. That generally holds weight during rezoning considerations. In this case, the town indicated there was a “critical need for child care,” with 50% of the center’s children from Sevastopol families. 

Linda Wait, chair of Sevastopol’s Plan Commission and a supervisor on the town board, said the town thought that rezoning only a portion of the property for commercial development would balance the land use.

The RPC went with that recommendation, and county staff considered the future use a benefit. 

“It’s obviously a public good to have a new larger, better day care center,” said Mariah Goode, director of Door County Land Use Services.

More details will be forthcoming. A child care center is an allowable use in Commercial Center zoning, but only with a conditional-use permit. If the county board accepts the RPC’s recommendation, the applicant will need to apply for the conditional-use permit – a process that again requires the applicant to go before the town, RPC and county board.