By 1812Blockhouse

At their meeting held on Tuesday afternoon, the City of Mansfield Planning Commission made a recommendation to make the City a bit more dog and cat friendly — at least in certain areas.

Discussion centered on a proposed change to Section 1167.04 of the City of Mansfield Codified Ordinances, which section covers uses allowed in the Office Services district in the City’s Zoning Code.

Building and Codes Manager Marc Milliron shared with members of the Commission that the change would have two components — first, it would add veterinary services (not involving kennels) as a permitted use in that zoning district, and second, it would allow for kennels to be added to such veterinary services but only as a conditional use.If passed by Mansfield City Council, the revision would allow for basic veterinary services in buildings located in any Office Services district, and also allow for kennel services if a conditional use is applied for and allowed by the Planning Commission on a case-by-case basis.

Dr. Jordan Phillips of Phillips Animal Hospital, currently located on North Main Street and which, as one part of its operation, provides primary care for the Richland County Humane SOciety, was on hand. Phillips shared with Committee members that the business is in need of more space, and he would prefer to locate in Mansfield rather than build new in Ontario or elsewhere. That move would also allow for tax revenue to remain in Mansfield.

Cline Avenue, Phillips said with Milliron in agreement, is full of now-vacant medical office buildings that would be ideal for a veterinarian’s office. These are “nice buildings sitting empty,” he said, with the right number of examination rooms and adequate parking.

Phillip continued by noting that other cities, such as Ontario, have veterinary services in their office services zoning districts, and the operation of such facilities, including factors such as noise, traffic, etc., is comparable to other office uses. Any potentially noisy use, such as for kennels, would not be possible without additional Planning Commission review.

He has also gone door-to-door to speak with the majority of neighbors, and found no one who objected to the change.

In response to a question from Commission member Dan Seckel, Milliron shared that while this would not prohibit a veterinarian from sharing an office complex with “non-animal uses,” that would be a private decision left to a building owner/landlord.

The Planning Commission unanimously recommended passage of the measure to City Council.

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