Dog Owners and Southie Residents Welcome Fenway Bark Into the Pack

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Small business modifies operational plans to address neighborhood concerns.

Fenway Bark today announced operational changes to its pet hotel and daycare center in South Boston. Fenway Bark will appear before the City of Boston Zoning Board of Appeal, to request an Interim Planning Overlay District (“IPOD”) permit to operate its facility at 553 East First Street, South Boston, MA.

After neighbors expressed concerns about the business at a December 2009 community meeting, Fenway Bark owner Jane Fulton eliminated the outdoor play area, reduced the number of entrances and cut back late-night hours.

“We really listened to what people had to say because we want to be a good neighbor,” said Fulton, who is going door-to-door to talk with residents about the business. “By modifying our business plan, we are addressing understandable neighborhood concerns while providing a much-needed service to pet owners and creating valuable jobs.” Fenway Bark will bring up to 40 jobs to an area with 20% unemployment among young adults. It will be the first and only facility in Boston to offer canine boarding and physical therapy.

“This company is a terrific example of how businesses and nonprofits can work together to meet the needs of a community,” said John Moon, Chief Communications Officer of NEADS/Dogs for Deaf and Disabled Americans (which is partnering with Fenway Bark), an organization that trains dogs to help people with disabilities lead more independent lives.

On October 14, 2009, after reviewing an application for a Change of Use and Occupancy, the City of Boston’s Inspectional Services Department (“ISD”) issued a permit for Fenway Bark Stay.Play.Heal to operate at its proposed location. However, after receiving a complaint from a neighbor about the proposed business, the City later issued a stop-work order citing an “internal mistake” in the permitting process. The property is located in what the City defines as an “IPOD” or Interim Planning Overlay District, which is the acronym for a zoning designation used to control development in areas that are being rezoned. Under the Boston Zoning Code, IPOD’s are supposed to be in place for no more than two (2) years in order to provide a neighborhood with an appropriate period to plan and complete the rezoning process. The South Boston IPOD was established more than eleven years ago with no final rezoning plan ever adopted. Some neighbors have expressed concerns about noise, odor and increased traffic in an area zoned for commercial properties currently undergoing zoning review.

Fenway Bark changes address these concerns. As to noise, a professional acoustical engineering firm conducted sound tests and confirmed that the 18 inch concrete walls are sufficient to prevent noise leakage out of the building.

“Fenway Bark is a strong investment in our community and it should absolutely receive a permit to be here,” said Miranda Miller. “In this economy, South Boston should support new businesses, especially one that has gone to such great lengths to answer our questions and meet our needs, both as neighbors and dog owners.”

About Fenway Bark
Fenway Bark Stay.Play.Heal will be Boston’s first pet hotel and daycare center. A one-stop solution for dog parents, Fenway Bark will offer pleasing accommodations, grooming, training and rehabilitation as well as pet food, gourmet treats, pet photography and a self-service dog wash. With hours and location convenient to the South Boston resident, it will be the only facility in Boston to provide canine boarding and physical therapy. For more information, please call 617-464-4DOG or visit http://www.fenwaybarkonline.com. Fenway Bark is owned and operated by SoBo Animal Wellness, LLC, and is not endorsed by or affiliated with the Boston Red Sox.

Contact:
Jane Fulton
617-464-4364
jane (at) soboanimalwellness (dot) com
fenwaybarkonline.com

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