Council looks at veterinarian services location

A request to establish a veterinary service on Seventh Avenue South in the City had Council considering an amendment to the Zoning Bylaw at its regular meeting Monday.

“Administration was recently contacted by a veterinarian who operates an animal health centre and is looking to purchase and relocate from a neighbouring rural municipality to within the City. The applicant has found what she believes to be a suitable location in the C-1 City Centre zoning district where she is proposing to provide in-patient care to small animals and retail sales including medications and animal supplies. The current Zoning Bylaw, however, prohibits the use of veterinary services in the C-1 district,” explained Carleen Koroluk, Land Use Planner, with the City.

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“As such, under suggestion from Planning Services, the applicant has submitted an application to amend the Zoning Bylaw to allow for consideration of veterinary uses within the entire C-1 City Centre zoning district. The proposed amendment includes provisions for veterinary services for small animals as a Discretionary (Council-approved) Use in the C-1 City Centre Commercial zoning district.”

The key is that not all veterinary services are the same in what they offer.

“Under the on-going review of the Zoning Bylaw, Administration acknowledges that the current definition does not distinguish between small and large animal care and furthermore, that there may be suitable locations within zoning districts where veterinarian services are currently prohibited that could be considered on a case by case basis as Discretionary Uses,” explained Koroluk.

The proposed amendment would split the definition.

Type I would be a veterinary service for small animals, including indoor, overnight accommodation and the sale of products related to veterinary services, but not including the keeping of animals in outdoor pens.

Type II being a veterinary service for small and/or large animals, including overnight accommodation, the sale of products related to veterinary services, the keeping of animals in outdoor pens and crematory services.

With unanimous support of Council Monday Administration is now authorized to proceed, the application will also be referred to the Planning and Infrastructure Commission before it is brought back to Council, for their review and decision in conjunction with the Public Hearing. It is noted that public notice is legislated for a minimum of 15 days, meaning the proposed amendment cannot proceed until the September 14th Council meeting.

“In conclusion, should Council wish to proceed with the amendment and give the Bylaw 1st Reading, a Public Hearing will be set for September 14, 2020 after which Council may proceed with second and third Reading if desired. If the amendment is approved, Planning Services will then recommend that Council consider approving Public Notice for a Discretionary Use application for a Veterinary Service use at 39 Seventh Avenue South. If that is also approved, it will be returned to a separate Public Hearing at the October 5th Council meeting,” said Koroluk.

If the Bylaw amendment does not proceed, or is denied, the Discretionary Use application will be cancelled.

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