A Clayton veterinarian looking to expand his clinic got a preliminary nod Monday from the city’s Plan Commission/Architectural Review Board.
According to the plans filed with the city on Feb. 21, Dr. Dan Fraser wants to add onto St. Louis Veterinarian Animal Clinic of Clayton (ACC) at 136 N Meramec to the adjacent commercial retail space in the Morrissey building, across the shared driveway at 132 North Meramec, to allow for a more comfortable and efficient space for staff and patients.
ACC, which has operated in the city since 1948, offers the Clayton and St. Louis animal community, emergency veterinary services, medical, surgical and dental veterinary services to include an in-house pharmacy. ACC is currently the only veterinary hospital in the city of Clayton.
The Plan Commission gave his plan to expand to the the building across the street and receive a conditional use permit a thumbs up, so long as the clinic does not board or shelter animals outside and that they are not boarded overnight, except for medical procedures.
The plan is also contingent on the approval of a code amendment by the Board of Aldermen to add veterinary clinics as allowed with a Conditional Use Permit in commercial districts.
Currently, veterinary services are not defined or listed in as permitted uses in any zoning districts
According to the city’s zoning rules, the ideal location for veterinary services is in proximity to residential neighborhoods, however, operational characteristics of the businesses are more compatible with commercial districts than residential.
City staff said hours of operation, noise generation and traffic impacts of veterinary service businesses would likely align with other commercial businesses.
Staff proposed the addition a definition to the zoning ordinance to clarify a veterinary hospital/clinic as opposed to other animal service type facilities such as kennels, grooming or training facilities.
Staff also recommended the addition of veterinary hospital/clinic listed as allowed with a conditional use permit in the C-1, C-2 and HDC Zoning Districts.
By allowing the use with a Conditional Use Permit, the City can regulate specifics of the business operations.
The proposal states that ACC would utilize only the main floor, 2,266 square feet, for the clinic. The upstairs apartment area of about 978 Sq. Ft. could be used for storage or staff break room or lunch room, but would not usable for clinic space. ACC would be leasing the entire building.
Fraser said the expansion would also ease existing parking constraints and position ACC for further economic growth.
The parking spaces available for both buildings amounts to two employee spaces and 13 parking spaces for customers. This count includes eight spaces along the north fence behind the clinic, one space near the northwest corner of the Morrissey building, two employee parking spaces under the car port in the back and four customer parking spaces behind the Morrissey building, plus two more spaces the clinic plans on adding in what is currently the outdoor patio area, for a total of 17.
Fraser said another option, if necessary, would be leasing parking from the St Louis Parking Co. who manages the parking at the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, across the street from the Morrissey building.
If ACC’s plan is given a positive review and recommendation by the Plan Commission/ARB, the Board of Aldermen would vote on the issue of expansion at its next regularly scheduled meeting.
Fraser and his colleagues appear before the Board of Aldermen for final approval on March 13.