New Daycare Coming To Saugatuck

Lost amid last night’s Planning & Zoning Commission approvals of 9 housing units at 500 Main Street, and a Post Road East dispensary, was one other item.

The board unanimously passed a special permit and site plan for a Goddard School daycare center and outdoor playground at 20 Saugatuck Avenue.

That’s the former location of AAA, a quick-mart and gym, among other tenants. It’s since been upgraded, but has stood vacant for a while.

This morning — after the vote — a few neighbors voiced concern about traffic and noise.

Of course, a previous plan for the site — ultimately withdrawn — was a Tesla service center.

20 Saugatuck Avenue is currently vacant.

19 responses to “New Daycare Coming To Saugatuck

  1. Arline Gertzoff

    The only issue here is people exiting and turning back toward Riverside Ave./north on 136.No problem if going south on 136 People
    travel rather quickly and it is not always easy to exit north This was discussed when there was a serious accident there.Good memory and in that old fashioned item called
    A newspaper
    Hence it should be a one way exit similar to exit at Saugatuck school though people cheat a lot there

  2. No matter what they put in that building, the neighbors are going to complain. It’s a commercial property, people! What do you expect?

    • Amanda Sarno

      You obviously don’t care because it’s not YOUR neighborhood. Please refrain from making your negative comments toward us “people”. All of us “people” who live in Saugatuck work hard to preserve it and make the neighborhood a place we love. Please don’t insult us with your rude and false comments. What happened to being neighborly?

      • So what would you like to see in that building?

      • Terry Anzalone

        Very well said Amanda—wish you were at the meetings.

        Bobbie, you asked what we would like there–how about something that doesn’t need a ton of variances.
        BTW, the parking outback is not commercial–do your homework!!!!

        • Amanda Sarno

          Thank you. My husband always represents us at the meetings but we have always been at the forefront, having led the way for no firehouse, as well as the Tesla argument.

        • Any business that wishes to succeed (and I can’t imagine one that wouldn’t) must generate traffic. The exception might be something that goes out to other locations. But, then, it wouldn’t need such a large building, would it?.

      • Tracy Flood

        I am also curious – what would the neighbors support being placed in that spot?

  3. Loretta Santella Hallock

    We avoid Saugatuck if at all possible because of the traffic. If I have an appointment on the other side of the bridge it might take me 10 minutes or 30 minutes to cross into Saugatuck. I happened to be there last night at 5 p.m and Riverside Ave traffic was a nightmare. The traffic was coming north on Saugatuck Avenue blending into commuter traffic. I would never choose a daycare in that area.
    It’s easy to support this if it doesn’t affect you.
    I agree with Amanda.

  4. Jack Whittle

    A daycare center and outdoor playground SHOULD be an acceptable use for this location, community-minded, with the only external impacts (aside from traffic) being the sound of happy toddlers on a playground which would only be a daytime, M-F experience.

    Traffic impact is admittedly a little less than ideal, with a heavy rush coinciding with rush hours – but the Fitness Edge didn’t create armageddon there, and many users are likely already in that mix now (commuters dropping off – picking up their kids)

    • Terry Anzalone

      Mr Whittle, may I drop off 28 happy kids in your backyard, 60 feet from your house, under your windows??!!!
      Please let me know, because they are going to be in mine!
      We will not be able to use our backyard, deck , sunroom from 7 AM till 7PM. But of course that is only Monday through Friday.

      The Fitness Edge caused a major problem. They ended up with valet service to park cars and tons of unhappy members.

      The traffic as you put it, “a little less than ideal” is a nightmare!!
      I know because I live here!

      • Jack Whittle

        Yeah, ok, but these are pre-schoolers you are talking about, and no, they they are not outside from 7 to 7 – but you asked to bring that experience to me, so I might understand.

        My backyard is Lee’s Pond, and in the summertime the pond is quite often filled with yelling kids in canoes, or kids across the pond engaged in games and activities, which causes them to cheer and scream – all at Camp Mahackeno. And these aren’t little pre-school kids in daycare. It can get so loud you can hear it in the background when you call us on the phone. But even so, it’s a happy sound, the sound of kids having fun. That’s what’s missing more and more these days – kids outside having fun. We have no problem with that sound.

        • Terry Anzalone

          “Quite Often” rather than everyday??

          We are retired and just recently able to enjoy our home as much as we like.
          I love the sound of little kids having fun, but don’t underestimate the noise that children up to 6 years can make. I have 3 little grandchildren,
          BUT not 28 with 4 adults supervising!
          The hours, quoted by the tenant, were the full day except for lunch.
          There are 13 classes . –152 students.

          I hope you are right…AND hope if we decide to sell, we will be able to.
          We probably won’t after 50 years and very deep roots in this town, especially Saugatuck, for too many years to count!

          Thanks for sharing…..

          • Gotta love internet comments where false equivalence is a standard trolling technique.

            8 acre Lees Pond and 20 campers fully in control on boats hundreds of yards away, a few weeks a year vs. dozens of children “at play” a few feet away. Ask a realtor.

            • Jack Whittle

              Chris – you seem to have no experience living on a lake, where all sounds, even regular conversation, travel across quite distinctly. As I said, you can hear the sounds of kids at play in the background on a phone call. And the little preschoolers are not even in the dame league, noise-wise. Gotta love snarky, ill-informed internet comments . . .

              • Did Lees Pond and Mahakeno appear out of nowhere after you moved in?

                Or was it already there?

                Now if you moved there in 1940, before Mahakeno was there, I maybe can understand your annoyance with that change. But of course, as you know, the Y owns the lake and the dam which makes the lake. So your annoyance is probably greatly outweighed by the fact that you are a free-rider on someone else’s asset.

                In other lakes, no one “own’s” the lake because it is considered navigable water. And even still, the homeowners will pay to maintain the dam, which you did not, but get the benefit of. Sounds like you want someone else’s cake and to eat it too.

                Your lack of empathy towards a person who bought a house and contributed to a neighborhood for decades, only to find a major zoning change (that brings much more noise to and disruption than yours) is unfortunate. How would you like an all-day, all year day care put next to your house. Oh, it isn’t zoned for that? So you are dismissive when it befalls someone else. That’s the definition of trolling.

                I have 45 years of experience living on lakes, BTW. We moved there because of them and realized the pro’s and cons of the location.

                • Jack Whittle

                  If you think I was complaining about the sounds of happy children at play next to my house you should re-read my note; I was simply noting I happen to have decades of actual experience (rather than a projected experience) with living adjacent to this sound. And I live in the middle of residential zone, with no commercial zone within a mile of my house. And yet, I don’t have a problem with the sound of big and little kids at play on property adjacent to my house. (PS: I did, in fact, contribute towards the rebuilding-updating of the dam, not that I see the relevance of your false statement).

                  Now, If I the house I had bought decades ago was actually adjacent to a commercial zone, and within 1/4 mile of I-95, my reasonable expectations regarding the sounds of little kids at play from a permitted commercial use in that zone (and a daycare is a permitted use there) would certainly be EVEN MORE accepting of this terrible sound, assuming you could even hear it over the sounds of trucks on 95.

                  Folks like you posting such comments are not familiar with the list of Special Permit Uses permitted in the RORD2 Zone. Rather than a daycare, this could have been a restaurant or tavern (perhaps with bands, or outdoor dining) with people coming and going until 1:00 am operating out of that space. But by all means, complain about a daycare . . .

  5. Wow – P&Z allowed a variance for a for-profit frachisee to run an outdoor playground abutting a residential neighborhood? What percentage of the “customers” will be from other towns? I’m guessing most. That sounds like a terrible deal for the neighborhood and our town, like when P&Z allowed a for-profit company to put in regional water tanks that benefit other towns into a local Westport neighborhood. #takenadvantageof – Chris Woods

    • William Strittmatter

      Super Wow – Imagine those terrible people from other towns using or benefiting from facilities in Westport “taking advantage” of poor put upon Westporters. Why can’t those other towns be completely self sufficient like Westport and have their own power generation facilities, water supply, reservoirs, oil & gas fields, refineries, sawmills, manufacturing facilities, etc.

      Wait…what…you mean Westport doesn’t have any of that and is #takingadvantageof others?

      Oops. Never mind.