Daycare dilemma; owner fights to keep doors open

Posted at 8:00 PM, Jan 15, 2014
and last updated 2014-01-15 21:18:25-05

CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WTVR)--All Joni Roberts wants to do is get on with the business of caring for children.

She's recently been distracted, fighting to keep her doors open. Roberts is hopeful the Brandermill Community Association will give the green light she needs to acquire a special permit to continue to run her family day home in Midlothian.

"I've been here seventeen years trying to do everything I can to protect these children" Roberts said.

Because of a new state law, to get certified again, Roberts needs Chesterfield county to approve a special use permit. The county is looking to the BCA for guidance.

The hitch? The association says Roberts isn't in compliance with it's 40 year old covenant. Now the association will survey nearly four thousand homeowners association members to decide whether to make rule changes.

"Then the board will determine whether this community will allow home-based businesses to exist. Not just mine, but more than five hundred sixty six others. How can you do that?" Roberts said.

"We intend to send out the survey in the next several weeks. It will have 4 to 5 questions and it's extra important for the board of directors to have input from the membership" community manager John Bailey explained.

That time from poses another problem for Roberts. She has to take her case before the Chesterfield Planning Commission Tuesday January 21st.

Her concern is that the surveys to be filled out by Brandermill neighbors won't even go out until after that. She's worried the longer it takes for the BCA to make a decision, the longer her livelihood hangs in limbo.

Bailey emphasizes that the board of directors at the BCA isn't authorized to make changes to Brandermill's covenant. That can only be done by the members of the homeowners association.

He says they're urging people who receive the surveys to fill them out and to send them back in the designated envelope provided by the BCA.

Stay with CBS 6 News for updates.