WESTERLY — A proposed ordinance that would amend the town's zoning regulations to allow for pet day care facilities in certain parts of the town will be the subject of a Town Council public hearing scheduled for Monday at 6 p.m.
The meeting will be conducted virtually. Members of the public wishing to participate can do so by visiting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82936560049 or by calling 929-205-6099, 877-853-5257 or 888-475-4499. The meeting identification number is 829 3656 0049.
The proposed zoning amendment would allow for the establishment of pet day care facilities in the town's general and light industrial zones and by special permit in the Rural Residential, Light Density Residential, Highway and General commercial, and commercial recreational zones. Special use permits require approval by the zoning board.
Lauren Corso and Amber Strouse, owners of Salty Paws LLC., who hope to open a pet day care facility in the Westerly Airport Industrial Park on Tom Harvey Road, said in a letter to the Town Council that they have spoken with potential customers who currently have to travel as far as East Greenwich to drop their dogs off at day care.
Dog day care facilities give the animals a chance to socialize, exercise and get mental stimulation while their owners are at work or unable to spend time with their pets, the owners of the business wrote in their letter. In addition to catering to residents, the business owners said their facility will appeal to vacationers and beach-goers looking for a place to care for their dogs.
The Planning Board was unanimous in issuing a positive advisory opinion in favor of the proposed amendment.
The council will also discuss whether to schedule a public hearing for a host of proposed changes to the zoning regulations. Developed by the municipal Department of Development Services the proposed changes are intended to streamline land use processes and improve the business climate in the town. Officials also say the proposed regulations will help the town emerge from the economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The council is awaiting an advisory opinion from the Planning Board of the proposed zoning changes.
The council will also discuss the town attorney position. The current term being carried out by William Conley Jr. and his staff expires at the end of the month. Conley, who has been serving as town attorney since July of 2017, is seeking to renew his contract with the town.
Town Engineer Kyle Zalaski will provide an update on road work being conducted under the $15 million road bond approved by voters in 2018.
The council will also receive an update on the town's response to the COVID-19 pandemic during a separate meeting scheduled for 5:30 p.m.