SAUGUS — The town is hitting “paws” on a local business owner’s request to turn a vacant building on Lincoln Avenue into a dog grooming salon.
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.
But the Board of Selectmen has concerns with the location, including the lack of a 10-foot buffer zone between the lot and neighboring properties, and lack of sufficient parking. Both are requirements listed in the town’s zoning bylaws.
“I agree, the building is an eyesore and it would be an improvement,” said Selectman Jeff Cicolini, but he added that he couldn’t support the plan if it didn’t comply with the town’s zoning bylaws.
The property at 565 Lincoln Ave. is a three-story 2,600-square-foot industrial building. Vieira purchased it for $250,000 in April 2019, according to The Warren Group.
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 last month, members and neighbors expressed concerns.
Avon Street resident Angela Hogan said she’s worried 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.”
On Wednesday night, Vieira’s attorney presented a revised plan that included a salon on the first floor and storage on the second and third floors. The daycare was removed from the business plan.
Vieira plans to renovate the dilapidated building, install plumbing, electrical and heat, and bring the building up to code with proper drains for dog hair, sprinkler systems and smoke detectors, he said.
But the lot only has eight parking spaces. If they created the required 10-foot buffer zone behind the building, the number of spaces would lessen.
The board asked Vieira to obtain a detailed recommendation from Building Inspector Fred Verone before appearing at the next meeting in September.