Home Cherry Hill News Educational day care approved for Marlkress location

Educational day care approved for Marlkress location

Plan includes planting of 195 trees and seeks to curb environmental impact

J&T Brothers LLC has received approval for its plan to purchase three lots on Marlkress Road for a Children of America day care as well as four office spaces for commercial or retail use. (EMILY LIU/The Sun)

The Cherry Hill Planning Board approved an application by J&T Brothers LLC  earlier this month to use 1197 to 1199 Marlkress Road for a Children of America educational day care.

The center will have a playground and for four pad-site buildings for retail and commercial purposes. Representing J&T Brothers at the board meeting were attorney Robert Baranowski; construction supervisor for Children of America   Chad Wilkinson; project engineer Ted Wilkinson; and planner and architect Jay DeFelicis.

According to Wilkinson, the center will serve on average 100 students – with a maximum of 185 – and would be staffed with 20 teachers. Business hours are  expected to be 6 a.m to 6:30 p.m, Monday through Friday, but no weekends. For the office buildings, hours would be 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., though tenants have yet to be found. 

Though the proposal includes 27 trees to be removed, Wilkinson emphasized the project will alleviate environmental impact. It got a waiver from an irrigation system by providing for planting of drought-tolerant tall grasses and rain gardens. Two bioretention swales on both sides of the parking lots will be seeded with wetland mixes to help filter stormwater.

J&T Brothers also proposed a tree buffer between the Marlkress property and the residential townhomes that border it rather than a required 6-foot opaque fence.

“Fencing would require us to demolish and maybe remove some vegetation,” explained Wilkinson. “And instead of doing that, we’d rather invest the effort into more evergreens.” 

The firm’s landscaping plan also proposes planting 25 new deciduous trees, 32 flowering trees and 138 evergreens – a total of 195 – and 347 shrubs.

After some discussion, board members agreed to allow for five facade signs on the monument sign, one for the child-care center and four, 16-foot signs for each tenant. They also agreed to variances requesting 66 parking spaces, 64 traditional and two for electric vehicles.

The rationale was that for the day care, there will be designated spots for staff and pickup and dropoff, and the busiest times will be at the beginning and end of the day. Outside of those time frames, Wilkinson noted, there wouldn’t be as much traffic.

The full application can be viewed at the Cherry Hill Planning Board website at https://www.chnj.gov/113/Planning-Board. To learn more about Children of America, visit https://www.childrenofamerica.com.

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