Warren zoning board OKs new animal hospital

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vethositalA plan to open a new veterinary hospital in Warren cleared one of its last hurdles this past week.

A group that wants to relocate Barrington’s Harbor Animal Hospital to Warren received approval from the Warren Zoning Board last Wednesday night to operate the hospital at a former car dealership at 288 Market St.

The board approved the request of Morlaur Properties, the current owner, and Bristol developer Carl Benevides, for a special use permit to run the hospital at the location. The board unanimously approved the application, with several conditions. One of the main ones, said board chairman Michael Gerhardt, was that the DOT review any curb cuts made on the property’s Market Street front. Such a review would be necessary even if the conditions weren’t stated, he said, as Market is a state road.

One thing neighbors won’t have to worry about is the sound of barking dogs. The development group, led by Harbor Animal Hospital’s Dr. Wade Cordy, is not proposing any outdoor kennels; all kennels and pens will be inside. The animal hospital is expected to fill just over half of the 14,000-square-foot building, Mr. Benevides said.

Overall, Mr. Gerhardt said, “everyone (on the board) was pleased with the proposal. This was an unused building that will now see some investment.”

Members of the Warren Town Council expressed similar sentiments when they signed off on the project several weeks ago, saying it’s a good thing for Market Street.

“We’ve obviously grappled with Market Street in general,” councilor Scott Lial said. “I think (the plan) is a move in the right direction.”

“It certainly would be an improvement to what is a very ugly building,” added councilor David Frerichs.

Mr. Benevides said that, pending a building permit, construction will start this summer and will hopefully be wrapped up by the end of the year. The building will not need significant structural changes, he said.

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