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Market Street Resident Must Seek Variance to Open Dog Training Business

By Linda Boker-Angelo

NEWS Correspondent

The Gloucester City Planning Board last week upheld Zoning Officer Joseph Stecklair’s earlier decision to disallow a Market Street resident from operating a dog obedience school out of her home unless she first applies for the appropriate use variance.

Stecklair said the property is in an area zoned as residential.

Although some non-foot traffic businesses, such as mail order or Internet companies, can feasibly operate out of a private home, the nature of this particular business, which would entail obedience class attendees visiting the home for extended periods of time, would require sufficient parking facilities.

Stecklair had directed the applicant to seek a decision from the Board on the matter, but she first opted to appeal Steckler’s decision.

In a split vote, Board members passed a motion requiring the applicant to apply for a use variance if she intends to go through with her business plans.

The Board did approve an application submitted by the owners of O’Donnell’s restaurant on Broadway to erect a small deck for use as a smoking area.

No food or drinks will be served on the deck, but patrons will have a designated place to smoke.

Board members also approved a bulk variance allowing property owners to build a new home on the 300 block of Cumberland Street to replace the house that burnt down.

Two requests were also granted for improvements and repairs to be completed in the City’s Historical District. The properties were located in the 300 block and the 400 block of Monmouth Street.

The Board also did a courtesy review of plans to subdivide a portion of the property which will become the Freedom Pier.

Developers intend to divide the property so that a walkway can be constructed on the pier. The Board voted to recommend that Mayor and Council approve the subdivision.

The next meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21, in City Hall, 313 Monmouth St.

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