Woman's dream comes closer as Mt. Airy planners recommend OK of daycare Exception sought for expanded center

April 02, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Trudy Hauptman's dream -- an expanded day care center offering preschool and other educational programs -- is inching closer to reality.

The Mount Airy Planning and Zoning Commission this week recommended that Mrs. Hauptman and her husband, Bill, be granted a special exception to operate a day care center in an existing building on Ridge Avenue. The tract is zoned residential, and day care centers are allowed as special exceptions.

The Mount Airy Board of Zoning Appeals is expected to consider the request later this month. If the board approves the special exception, the Hauptmans will have to return to the planning commission with site plans.

Mr. and Mrs. Hauptman operate a day care center in an addition to their home, outside the town limits in Frederick County.

"The community needs a much larger center to offer more," Mrs. Hauptman said. "We're getting calls every day. The community is growing so fast. There's only a few small daycares and preschools around."

The Hauptmans envision redesigning existing office space on Ridge Avenue -- within town limits on the Carroll County side -- to accommodate a 3,600- to 3,800-square-foot facility. The center also would provide preschool, summer programs and prearranged drop-in service.

Mrs. Hauptman said the center would serve 87 children, age 2 to 12. She said the drop-in program would allow parents to drop off children for short periods if space were available and if parents provide the center with emergency and medical information beforehand.

Mrs. Hauptman now cares for about 20 children, age 6 and younger. She employs one part-time and three full-time workers. She said she expects to employ at least 12 workers at the expanded day care facility.

The proposed site is near the Carroll County senior center and public library. Mrs. Hauptman said the two-acre site is ideal and would allow seniors to volunteer at the daycare.

"We'd like to see senior citizens become volunteers," she said. "I think it benefits everybody. It would be convenient for them."

Mrs. Hauptman said she plans to offer educational, first-aid and continuing education courses for people who provide day care service in their homes.

"We plan to do a lot with the community," she said. "We want to be active."

Before opening a day care service at her home about a year ago, Mrs. Hauptman, 30, worked at other services and has been certified as a day care teacher. She has worked at summer day camps and is the mother of a 22-month-old son.

"I've always wanted to do some type of work with children," Mrs. Hauptman said. "This center has fulfilled my dream. It's gone well, but I think we can offer more to the community."

She and her husband, 29, are expecting another child. Mr. Hauptman is the owner of Hauptman Builders.

In addition to considering the Hauptmans' request Monday, the planning commission received another special exception request for elderly housing on Ridge Avenue.

Michael B. Berman, president of Wildwood Park Inc., has proposed building 30 one- and two-bedroom houses for senior citizens on a four-acre tract, also near the library and senior center.

It is the first request for elderly housing since the Town Council amended the zoning ordinance to allow such housing as special exceptions in residential zones.

The planning board did not act on Mr. Berman's request, which must go to the Board of Zoning Appeals for approval.

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