Montessori preschool moving to St. Isidore | July 10, 2009 | Danville Express | |

Danville Express

Newsfront - July 10, 2009

Montessori preschool moving to St. Isidore

Planning Commission OKs 32-student program

by Geoff Gillette

Plans for the installation of a Montessori preschool facility near St. Isidore Catholic School were approved recently by the Danville Planning Commission.

Starlight Montessori Preschool went before the Planning Commission requesting a land use permit that would allow them to operate a school housing not more than 32 students on the property owned by St. Isidore on La Gonda Way.

Starlight owner Parisa Lobianco told commissioners that she started the program in her home, but during the past eight years she has been renting space at Danville Congregational Church. Lobianco said currently she has 59 students enrolled at the school, but there are never more than 30 there at one time.

One concern posed by the commission was the effect the additional students would have during the already crowded drop-off and pickup schedule at St. Isidore. Staff explained that the hours of the Montessori school would be different from those of St. Isidore School for a staggered start to avoid added congestion.

During the public hearing on the issue a concern was raised by Robert White, a neighbor living near the proposed preschool facility. As a stipulation of the permit, parents would drop off and pick up their children using a turnaround at the rear of the building. White had several questions on using that short loop.

"I'm a little confused. Is it 32 per day or 32 per session? I live right next to it so I'm living right next to a drive-through," stated White.

He added that the loop is conducive to a few cars, but a number of larger family size vehicles lining up could be unmanageable.

"Why aren't they using the loop in front of the building for pickup and drop-off?" he asked. "Anyone who's really in a hurry isn't going to go to that back corner parking lot."

Lobianco responded that the number of trips per day would be around 40 since there were a number of children who are all-day students. She added that they are using the back instead of the front loop to avoid adding to the congestion on La Gonda Way.

Commissioners asked White what he felt could be done to mitigate any impact that the preschool might have on him. "More landscaping," he replied.

Commissioners unanimously approved the preschool request.


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