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posted: 10/4/2019 5:30 AM

Animal hospital’s relocation plan stirs opposition in Barrington

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  • Barrington Animal Hospital is seeking village approval to expand operations by moving to this former Fifth Third Bank at 353 W. Northwest Highway.

    Barrington Animal Hospital is seeking village approval to expand operations by moving to this former Fifth Third Bank at 353 W. Northwest Highway.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

  • This is Barrington Animal Hospital's longtime location at 216 S. Northwest Highway. The facility wants to move to a building most recently occupied by Fifth Third Bank at 353 W. Northwest Highway in Barrington and build two additions on the property.

    This is Barrington Animal Hospital's longtime location at 216 S. Northwest Highway. The facility wants to move to a building most recently occupied by Fifth Third Bank at 353 W. Northwest Highway in Barrington and build two additions on the property.
    Mark Welsh | Staff Photographer

 
 

Supporters and opponents are staking their positions on Barrington Animal Hospital's plan to relocate in the village and expand operations.

Established in the early 1900s at 216 S. Northwest Highway, the animal hospital wants village approval to redevelop a former bank property on the same street.

The hospital has an online petition seeking support for the plan to have a full-service facility at 353 W. Northwest Highway with a larger, safer parking lot.

Some opponents, however, are soliciting backers for their contention that the plan is inappropriate for the location, citing potential problems such as extra traffic, noise and odor.

Barrington's advisory plan commission will begin village consideration of the proposal at 7 p.m. Tuesday, at village hall, 200 S. Hough St.

According to the village, Barrington Animal Hospital would renovate the 4,885-square-foot structure last occupied by Fifth Third Bank. The hospital plans an office, kennel, grooming area, boarding suites for up to 132 dogs and indoor and outdoor play areas.

The proposal also calls for two building additions totaling about 9,660 square feet, plus parking, landscaping and signs.

"It's a very big facility, but it is run by an animal hospital," Acting Director of Development Services Marie Hansen said during a recent informal conversation about the proposal with the village board. "They're setting high standards for themselves."

Burr Ridge-based RWE Management Company, which specializes in the planning, development and design of animal-care facilities, is handling the Barrington project. RWE founder Bob Edwards said his firm has built similar facilities in residential areas and intends to establish a "good neighbor policy" in Barrington.

Edwards said the animal hospital would not disrupt the area.

"What we basically tell people -- and this will come out at the hearing -- is what we're here to do is not create problems, but mitigate and solve problems," Edwards said Thursday.

The project likely would be done in two phases, Edwards said, with the addition for boarding, grooming and day care part of the second phase.

Terri Blanke, owner of the neighboring Barrington Community Child Care Center, is among the opponents who contend the animal hospital would bring noise, extra traffic and odor. She's been letting clients know about the proposal.

"The enormity of the building would increase the density of the neighborhood, creating a feeling of confinement and isolation among the existing businesses and residents," Blanke said.

Barrington Park District Executive Director Teresa Jennings said the proximity of Langendorf Park's 5-hole, par-3 golf learning center is a concern. The facility's clients could walk their dogs on the golf course and leave behind waste, she said, adding that the hospital should build a fence blocking golf course access if allowed to proceed.

"It's great what they want to do," Jennings said, "but I'm not sure this is the right place."

Barrington village board members will get the final say on whether the animal hospital's project can be built as a special use planned development.