"I feel like I just gave birth," laughed Dan Kryzanowski, owner of Pet Lodge USA, after Thursday's Planning & Zoning approval of his preliminary site plans.
It was a long road, and it was not easy convincing the Commission and City Council that his unusual business proposal was one that would fit in Commerce Park.
We first told you about Pet Lodge USA in February, after to request permission to renovate a former fur storage vault.
You read that right — Kryzanowski is putting dogs and pets in units inside a building that used to house the furs of their deceased cousins.
“We’re still in the fur business,” said building owner Ken Sacks. “It’s just a different kind of fur.”
But more restricting was that overnight pet care facilities are not a use that is outlined in Commerce Park's zoning code. This does not mean they are forbidden - but they are not specifically allowed.
So Kryzanowski's lawyer Sheldon Berns asked for legislation either declaring the business "similar and harmonious" with the businesses that are included in the zoning code or to add kennels to the code as a conditional use, allowing the Commission to evaluate and approve them on a case-by-case basis.
Kryzanowski even offered to sign a ten-year lease on the building, which has been vacant with no prospects for three years, Sacks told P&Z.
Most of the building's 13,000 square feet of space are taken up with three vaults with 12-inch poured concrete walls and 16-inch poured concrete exterior walls - and not one window in the place.
Sacks built the building to lease to Weiss Furs to store the furs Weiss sold in the and keep insurance costs down.
Kryzanowski took it to P&Z and then Council twice, who said that it did not fit with the kinds of businesses the city is working to bring to the
Other officials worried that it could set a precedent for other kennels to locate in Beachwood, causing headaches from noise and waste.
and Thursday, Planning and Zoning unanimously approved Kryzaniowski's site plans, with one caveat: the dumpster will be screened in to prevent odors and insects buzzing around all that solid waste.
“It’s so cool for the flagship of Pet Lodge USA to be there, and I’ll probably never find another building like it,” said Kryzanowski.
He will start improvements immediately and open Pet Lodge USA's newest location and corporate headquarters in early June — just in time for vacation season.