Today’s news:

Day care center sours on E. 38th St.

It seems there is no room for a day care center on a Marine Park block united against its arrival.

Room to Grow Learning Center has decided against converting an attached home into a business enterprise, according to City Councilmember Lew Fidler, whose office sent out a letter last week informing residents about the news.

“My office has learned that the people who were considering opening the day care center at 1658 East 38th Street are no longer interested in that location,” the letter reads.

As this paper has chronicled, Room to Grow was planning to convert the home into a small day care facility, but residents, concerned over decreased property values and a host of quality-of-life concerns, loudly balked at the proposal.

“Prior to the withdrawal, we were in the process of checking with various city agencies to ensure that the operator was in compliance with all applicable laws,” the letter reads. “While our office had no say in whether or not the operator could open, we were and are committed to making sure that the letter of the law is being complied with.”

An owner of Room to Grow refused to comment for this story. The person, who requested anonymity, previously told this paper that the house has not been purchased yet. “I think we are going to move ahead, but we can’t do that until many things are done first,” said the person at the time.

It is unclear what will happen to the home now, but the owner has previously indicated that the possibility of reselling the home and relocating always existed.

Fidler said his constituents’ outcry did not go unappreciated. “I certainly understand why people on a quiet residential block would not be happy about a facility that would be open to a dozen children,” he said. “People have to be a little more circumspect about where they are looking to open these things.”

“Clearly the environment was not hospitable to this, and the applicant made their own decision,” the lawmaker went on. “There is a place for these kind of day care facilities, and clearly there is an inadequate number of child care facilities in the city. But I do question whether a facility [of that size] is appropriate for a quiet block.”

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