Planning Commission Approves Day Care Center

The Wheeling Planning Commission voted unanimously Monday to give the go-ahead for a new day care facility to open downtown, after clearing up some issues about how upcoming renovations to Market Plaza would impact the business.

The proposed location for the business, Bubbles Bears to Books Childcare & Learning Center, is at 32 10th St., at the northern end of the plaza. Due to the amount of traffic in the area, owner Dan Dzikowski would prefer to designate the building’s Market Plaza entrance as a pickup/dropoff location – but that won’t be possible during an estimated $500,000 renovation project on the plaza that is likely to begin this summer.

Dzikowski, who operates day care centers in Canonsburg, Pa., Cecil Township, Pa., and Morgantown, said he’s looked into other locations in the area. Even with the looming plaza renovation, he said the 10th Street building seems best to fit his needs.

“The whole problem is an outdoor play area. The downtown location would be close to the waterfront,” he said, adding he could also use Market Plaza as a play area once the renovation project is complete.

Planning Commission member and Public Works Director Russell Jebbia said work to install new waterlines beneath the plaza could take until late May or early June to complete. The renovation itself hasn’t been bid yet, he said, but could begin sometime in mid-summer.

He said since first appearing before the Planning Commission in February, he’s looked into alternate options for a drop-off locations. Options include asking the Traffic Commission to establish a temporary loading zone along 10th Street, or using the the city parking garage and surface lot and validating tickets.

After a brief discussion, commission members Jebbia, Barry Crow, Michael Leo Jr., James Mauck Jr., Thomas McCullough, Councilman Don Atkinson and Martha Wright voted to grant Dzikowski a special use permit for the facility. John Clarke was absent, and Chairman Howard Monroe only votes in case of a tie.

In other business, the commission also voted 7-0 to approve a Class II home occupation permit for a nail salon at 2 Junior Ave. No one spoke for or against the request during a public hearing on the matter.

The Planning Commission’s next scheduled meeting is at 5 p.m. May 12.