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FairfaxEducationVienna Planning Commission backs plan for expanded animal hospital

Vienna Planning Commission backs plan for expanded animal hospital

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Vienna Planning Commission members on May 12 unanimously recommended that the town’s Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) grant a conditional-use permit for an expanded animal hospital at 124 Park St., S.E., Suite 100.

Veterinary Surgical Centers Rehabilitation LLC since April 2013 has leased the basement of the two-story brick office building, which was built in 1987.

Under a conditional-use permit granted by the BZA in March 2013, the company since has offered neurology, radiology, rehabilitation, surgery and other veterinary services at the site. Those existing services and their authorizing permit will remain in effect, regardless of the current proposal.

The proposed new facility on the 4,860-square-foot first level of the building, which formerly was occupied by the American Cancer Society, will have a new imaging center and provide neurological treatment. Amenities will include an entry/waiting room, reception area, examination and operating rooms, treatment areas, doctor offices, restrooms and break rooms for both clients and support staff.

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All of the facility’s activities will occur inside the building (although when nature calls for the animals, two existing exterior pet-waste-disposal stations are available for the cleanup). The applicant will not provide any new exercise yards or exterior areas for running pets and is not asking for exterior sign or façade changes, town officials said.

The applicant will not provide overnight or long-term animal boarding, but some of the pet clients may need additional intravenous-fluid care after their surgeries.

The building is located on nearly 0.9-acres and has 60 parking spaces plus one loading space. Medical facilities, a dental office and an accounting firm occupy its second floor.

The building is surrounded by commercial uses, although the Vienna Villager condominium building is located not far south on Locust Street, S.E.

To mitigate noise impacts, the applicant will install soundproof insulation inside the interior walls and install an acoustic-drop-ceiling grid. An existing concrete slab between the first and second floors will minimize noise transmissions between the animal hospital and the building’s other tenants, officials said.

Planning Commission member David Miller said the commission had concerns about noise when it reviewed the animal hospital’s initial application in 2013, but those fears have proved unfounded. The building’s other tenants support the application, he added.

“We’ve had several of these [animal-hospital applications] come before us now in office buildings, and I think the good news is that they all seem to be working,” Miller said.

Because the applicant submitted the proposal March 8, the BZA must render its decision by June 6 to meet the 90-day deadline. The BZA is slated to take up the matter at its May 19 meeting.

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