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Oak Creek veterinary clinic wins rezoning recommendation

Plan Commission to consider measure

Nov. 14, 2012

Oak Creek - The Plan Commission on Nov. 13 recommended rezoning the parcel at 8020 S. Howell Avenue, and the granting of a conditional-use permit, to allow the Animal Hospital and Veterinary Clinic to open shop there.

This recommendation is the first step for the city in setting up Oak Creek's third veterinary clinic. Two previous attempts to add a clinic have been shot down by the city.

The proposed clinic still has hurtles before it is fully approved. The site owners must now come before the Plan Commission in two weeks, where they'll discuss the city's conditions and restrictions for the new site.

The conditions the city plans on imposing are: forbidding outdoor cages and kennels, requiring adequate screening on the south side of the property and restrictions on boarding stays for animals.

Once the conditions and restrictions are passed by the Plan Commission, the entire package will be brought to a public hearing before the Common Council, likely on Dec. 18.

The rezoning of the lot is from a B-2 to a B-4. The city has four tiers of business (B) zones. The tiers run in ascending order by the amount of impact they will have on a neighborhood. A B-1, for example, would include a small neighborhood business that supports the immediate area. A sandwich or coffee shop would typically fall under a B-1.

The veterinary clinic would fall on the other end of the scale, being a B-4. A B-4 business could draw in highway traffic from out of the city, thus having a larger impact on neighboring residential land.

If the veterinary clinic is turned down in any of the steps, the land would remain zoned as a B-4. The city retains rights to rezone the property to a B-2 if it so chooses.

If a B-4 level business were to move in where the veterinary clinic is proposed, they have to go through a conditional-use permit application process.

The process for obtaining a conditional-use permit is what the proposed veterinary clinic is going through right now.

Jeff Fortin, city planner, said of the permit: "We can restrict hours of operation, lighting, things like that. It gives the city a great deal of control over how the land can be used."

A business from a lower-tier zone could move into the land, however, because the impact on neighboring residential lands would be less significant than the zoned area.

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