GEORGETOWN, Del. -- After a heated public hearing on introducing a holistic veterinary clinic in a Lewes neighborhood, the Sussex County Planning and Zoning Commission suggested the owner's conditional use application to build the clinic at her home be denied.
Commissioners explained several reasons why the home vet office isn't the right fit for the neighborhood along Old Mill Road, mainly addressing concerns of starting a trend for small businesses to consider opening in residential zones.
"Anybody who wants to run a vet practice should have area around it," said neighbor Suzanne Hain as she talked about the possibility the business could have to expand in the neighborhood, encroaching the space of other homeowners nearby.
"There are codes that say there should be 200 feet between it and the next home, and that's not true for where this person lives," said Hain.
Some commissioners were also worried about the business's popularity potential. If the holistic pet care practice turned out to be successful, it could mean more traffic in the area and the need for expansion might further agitate current residents.
The applicant, veterinarian Dr. Christina Abramowicz, said she is still optimistic despite the commission's disapproval.
"While the county council is concerned about future growth and future volume, right now doing this holistic medicine by myself is really important for me to be able to help all these animals," said Dr. Abramowicz considering both sides of the issue.
But for some neighbors, the commission's decision puts them one step closer to victory.
"We represent four homeowner associations in the area and the 65 residents who live there," said Hain.
"None of whom moved into the area thinking it was going to imposed with commercial business," the opposed neighbor said.
The Sussex County Council will vote on a final decision Tuesday, Dec. 16 in Georgetown at 10am.