A new pet boarding business is coming to central Shawnee.
PetSuites, a national pet services brand, is planning to build a new location on about four acres of vacant land in the Parkway Village shopping center near Shawnee Mission Parkway and Barker Road.
T.M. Crowley & Associates, an Indianapolis developer for PetSuites, is leading the project, which comprises a new, roughly 11,000-square-foot commercial building that features boarding, daycare, grooming and training services for dogs and cats.
After some deliberation on the amenities of the facility as well as parking and the look of the building, the Shawnee Planning Commission on July 7 voted 8-0 to approve a site plan and recommend approval of a final plat for the project.
The Shawnee City Council is slated to consider the final plat July 26.
Commissioners Genise Luecke, Carol Norman and Steven Wise were absent.
Pet services growing popular
Bryan Moll, director of TM Crowley Moll, said pet boarding services have been popular lately, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“A lot of families have picked up animals, a lot of time spending at home, and with folks returning back to work, business has been very good for PetSuites nationwide,” Moll said. “We feel like we’ve got a great project and we’re excited to get going.”
The facility can house anywhere between 80 and 100 animals, but PetSuites is rarely at capacity, according to the developer.
The facility will feature an outdoor play area, but no outdoor kennels or outdoor sleeping areas are part of the plans. A white 7-foot-tall privacy fence will surround the outdoor areas, including a dedicated outdoor space for dogs that are less social with other animals.
The fence is designed to shield the pets from the surrounding area, including a residential neighborhood, parkland and some offices and commercial buildings.
Garage doors will lead to three outdoor play areas, which are equipped with canopies and misting machines to keep pets cool. The outdoor areas have turf for maintenance and cleanup purposes.
Commissioner Kathy Peterson wanted to ensure the cleaning system of the turf is adequate and safe instead of entering the ground or the public sewer system. The developer assured that the drainage system and cleaning products will mesh with the public sewer system.
Most of the interior of the facility will comprise a reception area with the sale of some goods such as dog food, toys and treats. The rest of the space is used for training, grooming and indoor boarding. The indoor kennel areas also feature TVs and “cozy” areas for pets, Moll said.
Shawnee requires 37 parking spaces for commercial projects of this size, but the site plan includes only 32 parking spaces. The city is requiring the developer to prepare the site to add five parking spaces if needed.
The developer and city staff both noted that PetSuites customers have more of a transient nature because they visit primarily for pickup and dropoff of their pets.
PetSuites will also add an ornamental black fence typically seen in this area along Shawnee Mission Parkway as well as landscaping and a pedestrian trail to connect to the existing trail system to the west.
City updating animal-related regulations
As an aside, the city is in the process of updating regulations that govern animal-related uses such as pet boarding businesses.
Stephanie Malmborg, deputy community development director, said the city staff is still working on the draft amendment and may present it to the planning commission for review on Monday, July 19. Outdoor kennels, runs and play areas are also being clarified in the city code as part of those discussions.