Pet care facility eyes different west-side location

A proposed pet care facility in Columbus Crossing on the city’s west side is temporary on hold after city officials learned the owners may be considering a different site.

Barkefellers, based in Indianapolis, has proposed building a 20,500-square-foot facility north of the Walmart store on Merchants Mile. Owners had sought the city’s approval to amend a preliminary Planned Unit Development plan to allow a pet care facility as a permitted use within the west-side shopping area.

Columbus City Council members tabled the request until Feb. 5 after the possibility of a different location was mentioned.

Justin Gifford, a Columbus attorney representing Barkefellers, said the company is now considering a parcel of 2.1-acre property south of Burger King, further west along Jonathan Moore Pike.

The company will ask for a conditional use approval from the Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals Jan. 29 on the second location, Gifford said.

If approved, the conditional use would allow a kennel in the city’s commercial regional zoning district on Linden Park Place between Merchants Mile and Jonathan Moore Pike.

The company is also seeking a development standards variance to reduce the number of parking spaces from 43 to 33, said city-county planning director Jeff Bergman.

Herb Coffey, franchisee with Barkefellers, said he chose the second location since there were fewer restrictions on the property and thought it was a spot that the city would prefer.

The facility, which would be open seven days a week, would eventually provide housing for an average of 60 days and have the ability to board 10 to 20 cats, Coffey said. The facility would also have indoor and outdoor play areas available for boarded pets.

If the conditional use request is approved by the board of zoning appeals, the council could be asked to deny the application amending the preliminary PUD plan at Columbus Crossing during its Feb. 5 meeting, Bergman said.

However, if the request is denied, the council is expected to be asked to pass the amended preliminary PUD plan in two readings during the meeting, he added.

Coffey said if approval is granted by the zoning board, construction is expected to take about eight to 10 months with plans to open the facility next year.

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The Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals will consider a conditional use request from Barkefellers during its 6:30 p.m. meeting Jan. 29 at the council chambers at Columbus City Hall, 123 Washington St.

The request is to allow a kennel to be built in a commercial regional zoning district on Linden Park Place between Merchants Mile and Jonathan Moore Pike, according to filing documents.