The Pet Pantry, currently operating at Fifth Street and Central Avenue in the city of Dunkirk, could find itself settled in a new home in the near future. Pet Pantry President Julie McFarland was before the Dunkirk Zoning Board of Appeals Tuesday seeking a variance to operate out of 15 Marsden St.
At this time the Pet Pantry is a prospective purchaser of the property, owned by the estate of William Radloff.
"The old church is probably going to be sold so we have to move," McFarland said, referring to their current location on Central Avenue, owned by Iglesia Getsemani (First Christian Church, Church of Christ Disciples). "We found this place and it is ideal."
OBSERVER Photo By Michael Rukavina
Julie McFarland, president of Pet Pantry, explains her variance request before the City of Dunkirk Zoning Board of Appeals during Tuesday’s meeting.
The pet food that would be stored at the new location, McFarland said, is donated food from Purina as well as individual donors. They also purchase food from local stores including Tractor Supply and Big Lots.
"We have 230 families that we help monthly and we help feed over 760 animals a month," she said. "We determine who gets food based on federal poverty guidelines. They fill out an application and they have to show a need, we have to see financial (information), and then they qualify or they don't qualify. And we re-certify every six months because circumstances change. There is a definite need in the area."
To help cover taxes on the property, McFarland said, the idea will be to section off around 600 square feet to renovate and rent out as office space. She added that they do not have a renter in mind at this time. The pantry would look to operate on Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. and Saturday's from 10 a.m. to noon.
The zoning board approved the variance, but noted that before any office space is rented it would have to come before the zoning board to ensure the building met code; and also that if the pantry decided to open any additional days and hours they would have to come before the ZBA.
The second appeal heard on Tuesday was made by Eric and Crystal Hites, 516 Deer St. for permission to operate a permanent home office for a life coaching business at their place of residence.
A variance was granted last year, which allowed Hites to operate her in-home office. No complaints had been received over the course of that year.
Hite requested that the board allow her to increase the size of her business sign from 1x2 to 2x2, and that the board allow her to see two clients at the same time as she deals with couples often.
The board granted the variance and the requests.
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