RPB zoners allow fenced dog run at new animal hospital

The Royal Palm Beach Planning and Zoning Commission voted 3-2 on Tuesday, October 26 to recommend approval of a fenced-in dog enclosure at the new Access Specialty Animal Hospital at 10465 Southern Blvd.

The applicant has applied for a landscaping variance to remove the existing parking lot divider strip and convert it to a dog run, and remove the required shrubs and ground cover, the director of planning and zoning explained. , Bradford O’Brien, noting that the proposed dog enclosure had been unanimously approved earlier. .

“The proposed fenced area is 34 feet wide when only 8 feet are needed,” O’Brien said. “In addition, trees will remain on the island to provide shade and greenery, and plantings and turf in the islands will be replaced with artificial grass and use a shingle fence covered in green. It is my professional opinion that the 30 foot outdoor dog enclosure with two trees and a green vinyl fence meets the intent of this code.

He explained that the dog park would only be there as long as the vet clinic was there.

“If the vet clinic leaves, the landscape island could very easily be restored to fully comply with this section of the code,” O’Brien said, adding that staff recommend denying the landscape waiver request because the dividing strip is 34 feet wide, and there is enough space to provide both the necessary shrubs and the dog run. “It is important to note that the divider strip will not be removed and may be converted back to the divider strip required by village code if the building is occupied by another user.”

Manny Gutierrez, the project’s architect, said the new animal hospital replaced a vacant Staples store earlier this year.

“It was a good decision for the community to revitalize this mall, so the village council unanimously approved a special use for this outdoor run, as did the zoning board,” he said. stated, pointing out that their main purpose when the article first came up was to keep the hospital running.

Gutierrez added that the purpose of the newly requested fence was to keep the dogs safe. He said the dog enclosure does not take up any parking spaces and mature trees are retained. Hedges are removed due to the fact that normal dog activities destroy the plants. “That’s why we use the artificial turf,” he said.

Commissioner Ray Nazareth asked O’Brien if there was a way to alleviate the situation with the staff’s denial recommendation. O’Brien said the plaintiff argued that his request was the least of things for a feasible use for this type of hospital.

Gutierrez said the proposed dog enclosure is actually smaller than dog enclosures at other access locations.

“We didn’t think the demand was excessive,” he said. “It’s a large animal hospital, about 23,000 square feet. The animals that are here are not boarding animals. These are animals in convalescence or awaiting treatment or undergoing treatment. They certainly need it for the services that are provided to our community.

Nazareth asked if any neighbors had complained about the hospital, and the claimant said there was opposition to the original claim.

Commission Chairman Adam Miller pointed out that the original application for the animal hospital included the dog enclosure and the only addition was a fence.

Commissioner Lauren McLellan moved a motion to approve the request, which passed 3-2 with Nazareth and Commission Vice-Chairman Philip Marquis opposed.

The Applicant has also proposed that the approved sidewalk in this area be closed as part of the fencing process. The dog enclosure is in an area primarily used by employees. This request also passed 3-2.

Benjamin M. Yerger