The Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday approved a change of use to allow for a new dog grooming, daycare, training and boarding facility, as well as the sale of ancillary pet products, at 1340 East Putnam Avenue in Old Greenwich. The site is in the LB area. Its previous use was retail.
PAWS of Greenwich will be adjacent to the Curry & Hurry retail food establishment and a dry cleaner.
Attorney Chip Haslun said his clients, Jessica DelGuercio and Brian Levinson, had been searching for a suitable location for their business for two years. “It’s difficult because there aren’t a lot of places in the zoning ordinances where that use is allowed,” he said.
The commercial space had been vacant for a year or two.
Haslun said the challenge for the landlord to rent the space stems from the non-compliance of the parking lot. There are only 12 parking spaces and PAWS of Greenwich will share them with the dry cleaner and Curry & Hurry.
As for drop-off and pick-up, Haslun said a proprietary mobile device app-based key fob system would allow customers to drop off or pick up a dog within 2-3 minutes of arriving at the location. site, first.
“As clients get more familiar with it, they think they can reduce it to a minute or a minute and a half to swap the dog with its owner,” Haslun said, adding that the claimant estimates that about the half of PAWS of Greenwich customers will take advantage of the valet pick-up and drop-off service. “There are adjustments that can be made if the commission finds that complaints are being filed or if issues are observed with the site functioning as we expect.”
Approval was issued with conditions: The facility will not exceed the maximum of 45 dogs at a time. The establishment must provide one employee for every 10 dogs – approximately five employees. Hours of operation will be 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.
The return will be between 7:00 a.m. and 9:00 a.m. Pick-up between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Nights limited to 6 dogs and an employee must be on site at all times during the nights.
Valet transportation to and from client residents must be maintained with primary access to the site.
Grooming will be by appointment only. The applicant must provide a curbside pickup service operated by the mobile device’s proprietary application. Applicant must provide each customer with a key fob for quick identification for drop-off and pick-up.
Prior to issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy, PAWS of Greenwich will provide a copy of the Connecticut State License required by the State Department of Agriculture.
In six months, P&Z staff will assess whether the parking mitigation procedures are working as intended. Otherwise, the applicant will be invited to propose actions to overcome the difficulties of dropping out.
At any time there is a change in any tenant throughout the building, the owner is required to report to P&Z personnel.
If there is a change of usethey must pass in front of the whole commission.
“Because there are only 12 parking spaces. This is what worries us,” said commission chairman Alban. “If Curry & Hurry or the dry cleaner becomes something else, you might have a problem.”
P&Z director Katie DeLuca said if there was a change in user group without coming before P&Z, it would result in a violation of the sitemap and the company would be “shut down.”
“We said everything there was to say about it. It’s just a matter of crossing your fingers and hoping it works,” Alban said.
The committee voted unanimously to approve the application with the above conditions.