Council says Kids Unlimited can't skip traffic study

A reluctant City Council rejected a request from Kids Unlimited to forgo a required traffic study for a proposed education center next to the popular Medford youth program.

Kids Unlimited, the Family Nurturing Center and OnTrack have joined forces to build a 3,600-square-foot center at 533 Austin St., near Riverside Avenue, to provide early-education programs for underprivileged children.

The council voiced support for the goals of the three organizations but didn't want to show favoritism for an organization by allowing it to avoid what city officials consider an important aspect of the city's code.

"Would we be setting a precedent from other not-for-profit organizations?" Councilor Chris Corcoran said.

The project would require a zone change from residential to commercial on the property, which is adjacent to the parking lot of Kids Unlimited.

The Medford Public Works Department has determined the building could generate up to 622 daily vehicle trips, far above the threshold of 250.

— Damian Mann

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