By Nick Nunn staff writer

The Morgan County Planning Commission voted to recommend approval of a conditional use permit for a child-care home at 1219 Four Lakes Drive. The application stated that the applicant, Melissa Camp, proposes to care for approximately three to four children at any time, and the ordinance states that no more than six children may be received for group care for more than four hours and less than 24 hours per day. Bryce Jaeck, planner for the city of Madison, stated that the child-care home is an existing operation, and that Camp sought to bring the operation into ordinance once she found out that she needed a conditional use permit.

Jaeck recommended three conditions of approval: that there be no regular on-street parking, that the owner maintain a current occupational tax certificate, and that the conditional use shall expire when the owner is no longer the owner of the property. Camp stated that she has only been keeping children “off and on for the last year or two” and that she is currently keeping only three children from approximately noon until their parents are able to pick them up in the afternoon.

Andy Lindsey, Camp’s next door neighbor, said that he was opposed to the continuation of the operation, claiming that he had seen up to six children there at once and that the operation had been going on for longer than Camp indicated. Sandy Cawley spoke in favor of Camp’s service, saying that Camp attentively watches the children in her charge and has turned away clients for safety issues regarding how many children she was already watching.

Commission Member Connie Booth expressed concern about a lack of a fenced play area in somewhere on the property and asked Camp if she would be “amenable” to the construction of a fenced recreation area. Camp said that she would be. Booth made a motion to recommend the application with the additional recommendation that there be some enclosed fence required on some portion of the property for recreation.