CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)—A Chesterfield County woman who has been running a daycare center in her home for nearly 20 years learned Thursday night that she may have to shut it down.
Joni Roberts says she's not done fighting for her Brandermill daycare after the Chesterfield Planning Commission denied her a permit.
"We will be victorious ... I will operate my daycare," she said. "I will operate my daycare."
Up to 12 kids use Roberts for childcare.
Roberts has been operating Roberts Home Away From Home 17 years, but a new state law requires her to hold a conditional use permit.
Commissioners rejected her request, citing concerns over traffic and the fact that Roberts accepts kids 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"No business that could generate clients or customers to residential neighborhoods in Brandermill should be allowed to operate 24/7," a commissioner said.
Roberts says the 24/7 care is rare, and particularly helps out parents with non-traditional job hours, like police officer Stacy Rogers.
"This is heartbreaking," he said. "I don't know what we'll do if we're not allowed to use her."
The majority at Thursday night's meeting—several of them Roberts' neighbors—say they have no problem with the daycare.
Many believe other at-home businesses are now at risk.
"I don't have a problem with the music teacher and her cars on the street," Rogers said. "I don't have a problem with the guy that runs a business ... the UPS truck comes three times a day," Rogers said.
Roberts says she'll work with the county and do what it takes to make sure she can continue to care for kids. She'll look at making changes to her daycare and will re-apply for another permit.
"I'm totally in the battle," she said.
The Brandermill Community Association Board will take up the issue at its March meeting.
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