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AURORA -- Having abandoned plans to build a veterinary clinic and boarding kennels on a 5.4-acre parcel in front of the Hawthorn subdivision on Route 43 north, the Aurora Veterinary Clinic has found a new site for expansion.
The clinic survived its first test at the city planning commission's April 19 meeting, as the panel granted a conditional zoning certificate and forwarded it to City Council for a 3-acre site on West Maple Lane, just west of its current clinic facility.
City Council then suspended its rules and approved the CZC on first reading at its April 24 session.
Dr. Ellen Imhof owns the veterinary clinic at 46 S. Aurora Road and the Aurora Kennel at 1013 W. Garfield Road. She said she has outgrown both locations and wants to consolidate services by building a 9,000-square-foot facility.
Back in February, Imhof presented plans to build the new facility on the west side of Route in front of the Hawthorn subdivision, but received widespread opposition from nearby residents.
A public hearing in front of the planning commission back then drew a packed house to Town Hall, with all of the 21 speakers opposing the proposed location for the project. Most of the speakers cited noise from barking dogs.
Although the commission accepted the CZC for study, Imhof soon after withdrew her application for a CZC.
Imhof, who has been in practice in Aurora since 1983, said the new facility would allow the business to expand services and increase its efficiency.
The proposals includes ore exam rooms, dedicated areas for procedures, separate waiting areas for cats and dogs, expansion of rehabilitation services and addition of equipment such as an under water treadmill.
There also would be indoor exercise areas, a community dog wash, separate boarding area for cats and a walking path at the back of the property. Imhof said the newest technology in comfort and sound proofing would be used for pet boarding.
Imhof has said she has been looking for a site to consolidate her two businesses for years, and the centrally-located site on West Maple Lane would serve her business well.
In addition to the noise factor, the nearby residents of the previously proposed property cited the impact on property values and concerns about fecal waste management and traffic.
Mayor Ann Womer Benjamin said after the CZC application for the proposed first site was withdrawn that Imhof and herself took the Hawthorn residents' concerns seriously. The mayor said she thought the first site was inappropriate.
The planning panel also approved a preliminary and final site plan for R.P. Gatta Inc.'s 10,000-square-foot addition to its existing 28,520-square-foot building on Gentry Drive. The original building was erected in 1997 and more space is needed for the business.