On Thursday, the Planning and Zoning Commission approved a change of use to enable a new dog grooming, day care, training and boarding facility along with sales of accruing pet products at 1340 East Putnam Avenue in Old Greenwich. The location is in the LB zone. Its previous use was in retail.
PAWS of Greenwich will stand alongside the Curry & Hurry up grocery retailer and a dry cleaner.
Attorney Chip Haslun said his clients, Jessica DelGuercio and Brian Levinson, spent two years looking for a suitable location for their company. “It’s difficult because there aren’t many places within zoning regulations that allow this use,” he said.
The retail space had been vacant for a year or two.
Haslun said the challenge for the landlord to rent the space was due to the non-compliance of the parking lot. There are only 12 parking spaces and PAWS of Greenwich will share these with both cleaning and Curry & Hurry.
As for drop-off and pick-up, Haslun said a trailer system based on a proprietary application for mobile devices would allow customers to first drop off or pick up a dog within 2-3 minutes of arriving on-site.
“When customers get to know each other better, they believe they can cut the dog’s exchanges with its owner down to a minute or a minute and a half,” Haslun said, adding the applicant estimates that around half of Greenwich’s customers’ PAWS do this will use the pick-up and delivery service. “There are adjustments that can be made if the Commission finds complaints or problems with the way we expect the website to work.”
Future home of PAWS of Greenwich at 1340 East Putnam Ave in Old Greenwich.
The approval was granted with conditions: The facility may not exceed the maximum number of 45 dogs at the same time. The facility provides one employee for every 10 dogs – approx. Five employees. Business hours are 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. daily.
The handover takes place between 7:00 and 9:00 a.m. Pick up between 5:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Overnight stays are limited to 6 dogs and an employee must be on site at all times during the overnight stay.
Valet transportation to and from the client’s residents must be maintained with primary access to the location.
Maintenance is only carried out by appointment. The applicant provides a roadside pick-up service managed through the proprietary mobile device application. The applicant provides each customer with a key fob for quick identification for delivery and collection.
PAWS of Greenwich will provide a copy of the Connecticut State license required by the State Dept of Agriculture before the Occupancy Certificate is issued.
In six months, the P&Z employees will evaluate whether the measures to curb parking are working as intended. If this is not the case, the applicant will be asked to propose measures to reduce the difficulties in setting off parking spaces.
Whenever the tenant changes in the entire building, the landlord is obliged to contact the P&Z staff.
If there is a change in use, this must come before the entire commission.
“Because there are only 12 parking spaces. We’ll take care of that, ”said Commission Chairman Alban. “If curry & rush or cleaning becomes something else, you might have a problem.”
P&Z Director Katie DeLuca said should there be a usage group change without getting in front of P&Z it would result in a violation of the site plan and the store would be “closed”.
“We have said everything there is to be said about it. Basically we just keep our fingers crossed and hope it works, ”said Alban.
The Commission unanimously approved the request under the above conditions.