LAVALE — A long-planned expansion of LaVale Veterinary Hospital on National Highway could move forward soon if a proposed boundary line adjustment is approved.

All eight members of the Allegany County Planning and Zoning Commission are expected to join County Planning Coordinator Phil Hager on four site visits this afternoon.

The tour begins in Pinto at 2 p.m. Three stops later, Hager and commissioners will gather at the County Office Complex on Kelly Road by about 5 p.m. for their regular public work session.

The third stop is the red barnlike structure, home to Dr. Ian MacFawn’s animal hospital. Constructed in 1926, the building was enlarged a number of years ago to accommodate the thriving practice. Ha-ger said MacFawn has put another expansion on hold for five years due to a “quirk” in the LaVale zoning provisions.

“We’ve been trying to do that for years,” MacFawn said.

MacFawn said officials prevented them from going within 8 feet of the adjacent property line during a renovation several years ago even though he and his wife, Cathy MacFawn, owned both properties.

Said Hager: “He cannot expand on to the adjacent property he’s acquired” to the east of his 913 National Highway location even though “he has a viable existing building (and) office.”

The change would expand the commercial boundary to include the property in question, less than 1 acre. Hager said the request was considered during development of the LaVale Comprehensive Region Plan. The request to rezone the area to allow commercial use fits within that plan.

MacFawn said an addition, still in the preliminary planning stages, would take up approximately 2,500 square feet. The current building covers more than 5,400 square feet.

A second change is to allow the planned Holiday Inn Express, also in LaVale, to put its entire parking lot in a commercial district. Hager said the line currently used doesn’t “reflect parcel or actual uses (and is) something that has not always been honored.”

The hotel is to be built on the location of the former Bloom’s Trailer Park near D’Atri’s Restaurant.

Also in LaVale, Hager said local police officer Jon Dudiak plans to open a Rita’s Water Ice franchise along National Highway beside the LaVale Volunteer Fire Department. Like the animal hospital expansion, Dudiak’s plans are on hold until boundary and zoning issues are resolved. Dudiak is assigned to the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation unit.

In Pinto, property owner Donald Yoder is seeking a change to residential from commercial use for about a half acre. Hager said the land was originally zoned residential in the 1960s but in the 1970s was erroneously changed to a commercial designation.

All four proposals that will be reviewed today will be discussed June 17 during a public hearing.

Each boundary adjustment request has been initiated by the respective property owner. Hager said he doesn’t expect any of them to be considered controversial, but “we make sure we’re getting the word out to people.”

“We don’t expect opposition ... but that’s why you have a hearing,” Hager said. “One is never sure how” the public will react.

The Planning Commission could vote on the issue after the June 17 public hearing concludes. If new evidence is presented for or against any request, members could elect to postpone a vote. The subsequent recommendation would then be forwarded to the Allegany County commissioners for consideration.

Questions about all four issues and the public hearing can be directed to Hager at (301) 876-9555.

Contact Kevin Spradlin at kspradlin@times-news.com.

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