Normandy backs canine day care center

Members of the Normandy Civic Association voted to support a plan to put a canine day care center in an empty Comly Road warehouse.

Kevin and Louise McKeown told members their Camp Bow Wow will operate in 2850–78 Comly Road. They own another Camp Bow Wow franchise in Lawrenceville, N.J., a Trenton suburb.

Their attorney, Steve Pollock, said the McKeowns don’t need any zoning consideration to use the building to provide their doggie day care service, but need a special exception to hold dogs overnight and a zoning variance for a sign that would be slightly larger than permitted by the city’s zoning code.

Neighbors along with City Councilman Brian O’Neill (R-10th dist.) asked about the number of animals expected to be in the facility during days and evenings. They also wanted to know about noise and smell.

Camp Bow Wow will tend to about 60 dogs a day, the McKeowns and Pollock said, and maybe about 20 overnight. The animals are kept separate during the night and no one will be on the premises during overnight hours. An electronic security system will monitor the property. All of that will keep down the noise, members were told.

“The key thing is, that at night … the place will be quiet,” Pollock said. Kevin McKeown said landscaping will act as a sound buffer.

Camp employees will keep the outside play areas clean, which would address any concerns about odors, association members were told.

The camp is expected to employ 25 to 30 workers, the McKeowns said.

NEIGHBORHOOD UPKEEP

John Wisniewski, the association’s president, said there are many properties that have overgrown grass and weeds in Normandy.

He said he suspected most of these homes, the lion’s share of which are on the 2800 block of Normandy Drive, are empty. A lengthy list of addresses was turned over to O’Neill aide Margaret Recupido.

One of those properties is 2815 Normandy, a parcel that had been in the news as a neighborhood eyesore until it was torn down in June 2013. One neighbor said the grass on the property is waist high.

Another resident asked why the owners aren’t forced to keep up their properties.

Recupido said they are. She said the Community Life Improvement Program, or CLIP, will cut the grass and clean the trash on a house’s exterior and bill the owner. If the owner doesn’t pay, a lien is attached to the property. Wisniewski said that the lien must be satisfied when the property is sold.

Teresa Olsen, the association’s president, told members she had researched city fees that would pay for two-day communitywide flea markets, or yard sales, and she asked members for suggested dates. However, resident John Burke said he objected to the idea of attracting a lot of strangers to the small neighborhood. One of Normandy’s features is that it is isolated from other areas, he said.

Normandy is a small neighborhood of less than 500 households east of the Boulevard between Comly and Woodhaven roads.

The idea will be discussed at a later meeting, Olsen said.

The June 10 session at the Norcom Community Center was the association’s last until September. ••