SAUGUS — A groomer’s plans to expand his business in Saugus have been put on hold.
Ederson Vieira has owned Pet Cute Grooming, Inc, an existing mobile grooming business for cats and dogs, since November 2016 and has many clients in Saugus and the surrounding area. In an effort to expand the business Vieira wants to open a two-floor salon and daycare.
The property, 565 Lincoln Ave., is a three-story structure classified as an industrial building, according to Patriot Properties. Vieira purchased the property in April 2019, he said.
His original plans included a front desk area, a grooming room and wash room on the first floor and a daytime dog daycare area on most of the second floor. He planned to house 25 to 30 dogs on the second floor of the building and use two grooming tables downstairs. Employees would pick up pets from their homes and bring them home with their new ‘do. The service was meant to appeal to seniors.
But when Vieira went before the Board of Selectmen Monday night, members expressed concerns.
“I’m going to be honest with you — I’m not going to support a doggy daycare at this location,” said Selectman Jeff Cicolini. “I’m not comfortable putting a doggy daycare in this neighborhood.”
The property lacks space for dogs to spend time outside, said Cicolini, who had concerns with Vieira’s plan to bring each dog outside for five to 10 minutes a day. Cicolini questioned why there were no kennels for the dogs to have alone time, how the smell of urine would be controlled, and what would be done about the noise.
“If I sent my dog to doggy daycare and they told me they were only going to bring my dog outside for five minutes, I wouldn’t bring it there,” said Cicolini. “Dogs need to be outside.”
There was also a question of where 25 to 30 pet owners would park when they all picked up their animals at 5 p.m.
Avon Street resident Angela Hogan said she has concerns about parking. She doesn’t want to see her small side-street turn into a place for overflow parking. The lot has parking spaces for six vehicles and at least two employees would be hired by the owner.
Her neighbor, Doris Piwowoarski, expressed the same sentiment.
“I’m mostly against the doggy daycare,” said Piwowoarski. “The grooming, I don’t think would take up that many parking spaces. It would be OK.”
Vieira said he was OK with changing his business plan because the grooming part of the business is what he really cares about.
“For me the grooming is more important,” he said. “If everything runs well for me as a grooming place, I would be happy with that.”
Other neighbors commented on how much Vieira has already cleaned up the property since purchasing it.
But not everyone was on board.
Brazis questioned whether a grooming business would work in the location — a congested neighborhood — even if the daycare aspect was taken away.
He suggested that maybe it’s “just not the right fit.”
A special permit requires a four-fifths vote. Because Selectman Mark Mitchell was not present, the four members present at the meeting would have to vote in favor of the permit for it to be approved.
Vieira agreed to continue the hearing until Aug. 14. When he goes before the board again, he plans to present a more detailed plan for a grooming business without the daycare. He is unsure of what he will do with the space on the second floor.