JPA votes not to oppose variance for Pondside Pet Care relocation

The Jamaica Pond Association (JPA) met virtually on April 4, where it discussed an update on the Green Line Extension as well as voted not to oppose a request for a variance for the relocation of Pondside Pet Care on Centre St.

GREEN LINE EXTENSION

       JPA member Franklyn Salimbene reported updates on the Green Line Extension plan, saying that the MBTA has plans to upgrade the E Line from Northeastern University to Health St. He said there is a “proposed expenditure of $68 million,” which will be used to upgrade stations and street stops on this stretch of the E Line.

       The JPA has previously voted in favor of extending the Green Line up to Hyde Square from Health St. “to put Hyde Square and the Latin Quarter on the MBTA rail system,” Salimbene said, as well as because the Boston Planning and Development Agency (BPDA) “designated S. Huntington Ave. to Perkins St. as a development corridor over the past 10 years.”

       The JPA voted to appoint a board member to testify on behalf of the organization in support of what they have already expressed support for.

       Other speakers can register to testify for the 2023-2027 Capital Investment Plan (CIP) at mbta.com/financials/fy-2023-2027-capital-investment-plan-cip, and written comments can be sent to [email protected]

PONDSIDE PET CARE

       Tammy Boyer-Lewis, owner of Pondside Pet Care, which is currently located at 610 Centre St., is looking to relocate to the old gas station at 561-579 Centre St. Right now, she has a 10 year lease, but she said there is the potential that the building may be purchased.

       She said that she has “just filed for our variance” with the city.

       The proposal includes using the entire lot for a doggie daycare with a training field and a black chain link fence that will border Lakeville Rd., allowing residents on the road to retain existing parking spaces.

       Boyer-Lewis said that there will also be a horseshoe driveway that will be “one way in and one way out.” An exterior dog run area will feature “antimicrobial artificial turf” that drains directly into the sanitary sewer system, so there will be no standing water or runoff. A special cleaner will be used each time a dog soils the turf, she added.

       Proposed hours of operation are from 6am to 7pm Monday through Friday, and on Saturday, the hours will be 8am-5pm, but “possibly could be 7am,” she said. No dogs will be allowed in the yard until 9:30am, and will go out in groups of a maximum of 10 at a time.

       “There will not be 40 dogs in the yard barking,” she said, though that many could potentially be inside at once.

       Boyer-Lewis also said that trees will be planted along the back fence line in addition to existing trees. On the front section of the fence that faces Centre St., she said she will install planters with trees that will “act as a safety barrier.”

       She said that right now, Pondside Pet Care does not have a yard, so all dogs are walked by staff, and “we clean up other people’s dog poop right now,” she said, so the company recognizes the importance of cleaning up after dogs for health and safety reasons.

       If a dog defecates on the new turf, it will be bagged and placed in a special receptacle specifically for dog waste, and the area will be cleaned with a cleaner and water that will drain into the sewer.

       JPA member Michael Frank said that while he doesn’t live in the vicinity of the new location, if he did, he would have concerns about “10 dogs barking at once.” He wondered whether this was something that was discussed with residents of the abutting units on Lakeville Rd.

       Boyer-Lewis said that if the dogs are being exercised and played with, which they will be in this case, they will not be excessively barking. She said the existing location is near residential units and “I have not had one noise complaint whatsoever.”

       She added that soundproofing panels will be installed inside the new building. “If the dogs are inside, it’s going to help with the noise,” she said.

       Abutter Jeri Levitt said that she wants to ensure a noise mitigation plan is in place.

       She said neighbors were told 30 dogs originally, and now 40, and said that they were also told the opening time would be 6:30-7:00am, but at this meeting Boyer-Lewis said 6:00am.

       “This is our home,” Levitt said. “We love what you’re proposing, but we want to make sure that it doesn’t become a noisy space for us, for homeowners.”

       Several residents spoke in favor of the proposal, including Andrea Chavez, who said “this would be a wonderful addition to the neighborhood,” as the dogs are going to be interacted with rather than placed in kennels all day where they will get bored and start to bark excessively.

       Daniel Diaz-Gil and Eileen Farrell were also in support of the proposal.

       Sue Christiansen said in the Zoom chat, “I found out about the meeting from the flyer. I live across the street on Lakeville. I would like to see the space fixed up and put to use. I don›t have a dog, but enjoy seeing the dogs at the daycare now. I hope they›ll entertain me if they›re across the street.”

            The JPA ultimately voted to not oppose the proposal with the proviso that Pondside Pet Care adhere to  stipulations listed in a letter from Lakeville Rd. residents.

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