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Site plan amendment approved for Animal Ark

By Jim Buice
For the Clemmons Courier

Even during the times of COVID-19, Animal Ark continues to stay busy and grow, prompting a site plan amendment that was approved in Monday night’s Clemmons Village Council meeting.

“It’s an expansion of a very successful business, which Animal Ark is, and you’ll notice it is quite busy out there,” said Stimmel’s Luke Dickey, who was representing owner Mitch Spindel, at the meeting in village hall.

Dickey said that the two-story, 1,800-square-foot expansion matches the peak of the building with the same architecture. Three parking spaces will be added out front, and another space will be included in the back along with a dumpster enclosure for the property located at 3515 Lawrence St. just off U.S. 158.

Planner Nasser Rahimzadeh said that the site plan amendment of real property owned by TMP of Clemmons LLP and known as Animal Ark Veterinary Services is for an existing site that was approved in 2001. The case was heard in last Tuesday night’s planning board meeting and received approval there before coming before the council.

The addition meets all the requirements of the village’s Unified Development Ordinance.

“It’s literally an addition to an existing structure, so the use isn’t changing,” Rahimzadeh said. “It was pretty simple, pretty straightforward. They did resolve all of the outstanding issues on the remaining site plan.”

In addition to approving the site plan, the village agreed to work with Animal Ark on an additional parking lot across Lawrence Street purchased from Clemmons First Baptist Church that has a temporary structure being used to help with checking in animals during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We saw what was coming when the shed was put there so that the patrons could check in,” Dickey said, “and all the staff that parks over on that side and that leaves all the spaces around the Animal Ark Veterinary so that the patients can go park there while they wait for the checkups of the animals. At this point, it is a temporary basis. They do have quite a bit of staff and a lot of business. That’s why they’re adding on. It has been brought to their attention if they want to utilize those lots over there in the future that it has to be brought into compliance.”

Rahimzadeh said that Clemmons will seek a good timeline “to try to be reasonable with accommodating COVID but also making them adhere to our ordinance.”

The planning board also approved a 7,000-square-foot modular addition for Clemmons Elementary School. It will be located in the southern portion of the property adjacent to the driveway for the buses.

Rahimzadeh advised of a potential rezoning case coming in for a large development in the near future.

Also in Monday night’s meeting, the council gave the OK to an interlocal agreement with Forsyth County resulting in approval of the Clemmons CRF Plan and the 2020-07 Coronavirus Relief Funds Special Revenue Ordinance.

The Coronavirus Relief Fund allocation for the village will be $221,664 with expenditures being broken down to $19,450 for public health expenditures, $31,916 to facilitate compliance with COVID-19 related public health and $170,298 to transfer to the General Fund for public safety salaries.

Village Manager Scott Buffkin said that “as far as I’m aware, it’s boilerplate, and the same agreement has been sent to each municipality in Forsyth County.”

Buffkin said that Clemmons needed to approve the plan by the end of August to meet the specified dateline.

In other highlights from Monday night’s meeting, the council:

• Went into closed session at the end of the regular meeting to discuss a lawsuit filed earlier this month by Allegro Investment Properties LLC over the denial of their rezoning request for the Village at Kinnamon project.

• Approved spending $25,249 for new audio and video equipment, including $15,985 to install 12 new wireless microphones and $9,264 for a significant one pushbutton upgraded video system.

• Heard from Lisa Shortt, village clerk, speaking on behalf of Shannon Ford, marketing and communications director, about the Clemmons Farmers Market continuing to be held each Saturday morning from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Jerry Long Family YMCA. It was also reported that the next Movie Night scheduled for Sept. 12 has been canceled.

• Heard from Wait that the Village of Clemmons will be closed on Labor Day, Sept. 7, with all trash pickup that week delayed one day with pickups Tuesday through Saturday.