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Gasow veterinary clinic to become two stories

By Grace Lovins

Gasow Veterinary Hospital, located at 36877 Woodward Avenue, will be demolishing its one-story building to reconstruct a new two-story building after the Birmingham City Commission unanimously approved the hospital’s special land use permit and final site plan and design review on Monday, July 25.

Birmingham Senior Planner Brooks Cowan noted in the planning board’s review of the site plan and design on June 8 that the one-story hospital was built back in the 1960’s. In apparent need of updates, the proposed veterinary building will allow for the hospital to have additional space and a second floor.

Cowan confirmed that, after the hospital’s meeting with the planning board, all requirements have been fulfilled on the applicant’s part, and they had submitted for a lot combination, another condition of approval. Currently, the clinic sits on four narrow land parcels on Woodward Avenue, but because the proposed reconstruction of the building does not expand into other land parcels, there are no real expected issues with the lot combination.

Commissioner Brad Host questioned what the clinic was doing in order to ensure the residents of the neighboring community were satisfied with the new construction, specifically Robert Runko, Brownfield redevelopment authority board member and a neighbor bordering the south end of the animal hospital.

Property owner and local developer Mike Bailey noted that the clinic is working closely with Runko to ensure the construction of a privacy fence between the clinic and Runko’s property. Bailey said he and Gasow Hospital owner Joseph Wilcox have worked with Runko on the size, material and location of the privacy fence.

The additional surrounding neighbors will also have a six-foot screen wall between their residential properties and Gasow after construction is complete. “We wanted to make sure that we’re good neighbors,” Bailey said.

Bailey additionally noted that Gasow Hospital will be temporarily operating off of Maple Road in Troy, during construction.

Commissioner Elaine McLain noted that Gasow’s ability to work with the neighboring community sets a great example for other businesses in Birmingham to do the same.

“I would just like to comment that this is a great template for cooperation for other businesses in the city or other landowners in the city who don’t seem to be able to come together and work in harmony and you are doing that and it’s a great example,” McLain said.

Host echoed McLain’s comments, stating that it’s nice to see the veterinary clinic working so closely with the neighbors.

Gasow Veterinary Hospital’s special land use permit and final site plan and design review were unanimously approved by the commission in a 6-0 vote, with mayor pro-tem Pierre Boutros absent from the meeting.


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