Neighbors Of Proposed Fairfield Dog Hotel Oppose Zoning Change

FAIRFIELD, CT — Neighbors of the proposed dog hospital and hotel in Fairfield came out again Tuesday night to voice their opposition to the plan, and zeroed in on the proposed zoning change needed to allow for the facility in a residential neighborhood.

For Spot On Veterinary Hospital & Hotel to move into a former Hyundai car dealership at 2269 Post Road in Southport, the Town Plan and Zoning Commission would have to approve the zoning change, which would mean dog boarding businesses would be allowed all over town.

“If you build it here, you can build it anywhere,” nearby resident Adam Goodman told the commission during Tuesday night’s hearing. “Our neighborhood does not want to be the test case for this type of business.”

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More than a dozen residents spoke out against changing zoning regulations to allow the pet business Tuesday night, which marks the fourth public hearing on the proposal.

No one spoke in favor of the business or the proposed zoning change Tuesday, but representatives of Spot On are slated to give a rebuttal to the opposition at the next TPZ hearing, scheduled for March 28, according to commission Chair Thomas Noonan.

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Spot On runs a similar facility in Stamford, and its Fairfield proposal calls for overnight boarding of up to 77 dogs in a luxury pet facility, in addition to a veterinary hospital, and dog grooming.

Neighbors of the proposed venue have complained that the sound of barking dogs, and the smell of dog waste, could overwhelm the area, though the owners have scaled back the proposal to limit most of the outside activity.

Those changes have not assuaged the neighbors, who also say that the commission should not amend zoning regulations to allow overnight dog boarding near residential neighborhoods, because the ramifications could negatively impact the entire town.

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Residents were quick to say that they do not oppose a new business going into the vacant dealership, just not this one, because of the zoning change needed to allow it.

“If this is approved, it will ruin the property values of 70 homes in the immediate area, all for the sake of one business that’s currently not properly zoned,” said resident Devin Santa.

Local realtor and resident Kate Cacciatorre agreed, and stressed that the sound of barking dogs cannot be properly mitigated.

“Even with an indoor-only facility, we will still hear the barking,” Cacciatorre told the commission.

Don Hyman, a resident who is part of a grassroots group called the Alliance for Peaceful Fairfield Neighborhoods, said he and the more than 1,000 signers of a petition oppose the proposal.

“Why can’t the town help Spot On find another location in town that’s legal, and doesn’t require a zoning change,” Hyman said.

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