Letter to the Editor: Expansion pains

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Dec 01, 2009
By dvm360.com staff

The October article outlining Dr. Dullard's experiences of expanding his clinic reminded me of when we attempted to get a zoning variance for our clinic in Novi, Michigan. Novi is notorious for its, shall we say, variance unfriendliness. Due to a prior legal snag with the developer, we had to go in front of the city council instead of the zoning board to get approval for our clinic to be located in a newly constructed six-unit strip mall.

At the city council meeting, we were voted down. After the meeting I learned that there was bad blood between the developer and the city. We ended up getting caught in the cross-fire.

Not giving up without a fight, we made an appointment with each of the city council members, met with them individually, and asked if we brought this up again if we could be approved. I was surprised that all but one said they would approve it. Perhaps the decision was influenced by the results of a survey we did by mail with 500 of the surrounding residents. Only two out of 110 or so respondents opposed us having a clinic in that location; one wanted a pizza place and the other an ice-cream parlor. At the next city council meeting, we were approved by a 6-1 vote.

—JOHN S. PARKER, DVM
NOVI, MI