BEAUFORT — Town planners advanced a special-use permit application to allow an outdoor dog run as part of the expansion of a local veterinary clinic.
The Beaufort Planning Board considered the request from Austin Veterinary Animal Hospital Monday at its October virtual meeting. In addition to the special-use permit for the clinic to have outdoor operations, the board separately recommended rezoning of a parcel on Lennoxville Road. Both items now go before town commissioners for final consideration.
The planning board heard from Sam Barnes, on behalf of the clinic, on the request for a special-use permit for a kennel with indoor/outdoor operation at the site of the proposed future Austin Veterinary Animal Hospital at 102 Professional Park Drive and 1975 Live Oak St. According to town staff, the property, the former Mechworks Mechanical Contractors building, is zoned transitional district, which allows medical uses, such as the clinic.
“The existing structure is 7,800 square feet and is not to be expanded. The parking space requirement is 31 spaces, and 34 spaces are shown on the site plan,” Town Planning and Inspections Director Kyle Garner said in his presentation of the agenda item. “The area dedicated to serve the kennel is approximately 10 percent of the internal operational footprint, as proposed in the plan given by the applicant.”
Mr. Barnes said the outdoor operation would be a “dog run,” rather than pens where animals would stay outside overnight or past business hours.
“This would only be, in other words, to stretch legs in sunny weather. It will never be unattended by staff, it would only be during business hours, 9 (a.m.) to 5 (p.m.),” he said.
Several board members questioned the measures the clinic might use to prevent noise from the animals disturbing surrounding property owners, particularly on Pearl Drive.
“I would not be willing to put this forward (to commissioners) if there was not soundproofing inside for the kennel situation,” member Paula Gillikin said. “It’s not just the outside barking during daytime hours that’s an issue.”
Mr. Barnes said the clinic would have insulation and sound dampening mechanisms.
“At the end of the day, these are good neighbors,” he said of the clinic. “This is an established Beaufort business. They want to stay that way and grow and continue to help the community.”
In addition to noise-control for the interior, Ms. Gillikin recommended the town require the property’s buffer be comprised of vegetation that could assist in dampening sound.
Both recommendations regarding noise reduction – the vegetation and engineered internal measures – were recommended by the planning board as conditions of the special-use permit. Planners unanimously sent that recommendation to commissioners.
Neighbors within 200 feet of the property will be notified by the town of the special-use permit request ahead of the board of commissioners’ meeting.
Also Monday, the planning board held a public hearing for a rezoning request at 1205 Lennoxville Road. Applicant F&G Management LLC seeks to rezone the property from B-1 (general business) district to TCA (townhomes, condominiums and apartments) district. The shift would require an amendment to the town’s future land-use map, from light industrial to mixed use, if approved.
A representative of the applicant briefly spoke during the hearing, and staff reported they had received no comments from the public regarding the rezoning.
In a unanimous motion, the planning board recommended town commissioners approval the request.
In other action at the meeting, the planning board:
- Adopted the 2021 meeting calendar.
- Approved minutes from the Aug. 17 meeting.
- Heard a presentation from town engineer Greg Meshaw on upcoming sidewalk improvements.
Contact Jackie Starkey at 252-726-7081, ext. 225; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter @jackieccnt.