Bolton PZC approves relocation of animal hospital | Bolt

BOLTON — Bolton Veterinary Hospital has received approval to relocate its longtime business to a larger facility, soon to be built across the street on Boston Turnpike.

The planning and zoning board has unanimously approved an application by the hospital’s owner, Veterinarians of Eastern Connecticut LLC, to construct a three-story, 31,187-square-foot Colonial-style building on the corner of Williams Road and Boston Turnpike. The area consists of two parcels of land which will be combined to form a 5.17 acre lot as requested.

Ed Grace, president of Bolton Veterinary Hospital, told the PZC meeting last week that the business had outgrown its home at 222 Boston Turnpike, which was built in 1974.

At that time, the hospital had five veterinarians providing the service. It now has 22 vets and “three to four times as many lay staff,” Grace said.

“We want to keep doing what we’re doing and just have more room, not only for our staff, but also for our customers,” he said, who are often inconvenienced when all the rooms are full.

Bolton Veterinary Hospital was founded in 1953, marking almost 70 years in business, Grace said.

“We really like that at Bolton,” he said. “We are afraid that we will not be able to stay because we have not been able to find a suitable package.”

Project officials said the driveway for the customer entrance will be on Williams Road. The north end of the building will be the entrance for employees and delivery services.

By acquiring the 1.16-acre parcel on Williams Road, project officials said, they were able to move the client’s driveway further away from the Boston Turnpike intersection.

Jackie Steele, who has lived on Williams Road for 23 years, said she was worried the road was too narrow to accommodate the new hospital entrance. School buses are already struggling to move on the road, she said.

But a traffic study included in the application found there would be no significant impact on traffic.

PZC member Arlene Fiano asked project officials to be aware of how the construction of the new facility might affect the wood turtles that live in the area.

A state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection database identified the area as habitat for wood turtles. A DEEP wildlife biologist recommended that any turtles found in the construction area be carefully moved to an adjacent area, according to a memo included in the request.

The biologist also advised using curbs and fencing to deflect turtles into wildlife underpasses so they are not killed by vehicles.

Hours of operation for the new Bolton Veterinary Hospital will be similar to current hours, according to the app. The hospital will have a 24-hour emergency room and its normal hours of operation will be 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

Pet’s Store Next Door, which sells pet food and supplies, will also move to the new facility. The store is next to the hospital at 228 Boston Turnpike.

Benjamin M. Yerger