Westfield Veterinary Group Receives Approval for New Facility; Zoning Board Wants Developer’s Agreement

WESTFIELD, NJ—The Westfield Board of Adjustment on Wednesday approved the application of RVM Family LLC to construct a new veterinary hospital on the site of the Westfield Veterinary Group at 562 Springfield Avenue.

However, that approval is contingent on the completion of a developer’s agreement between the veterinary group and the Town of Westfield that would assure that the applicant adheres to phasing guidelines for the project and abides by certain other zoning board restrictions.

The agreement, which would be drawn up by Town Planner William Drew, the town engineer and other officials and signed by Westfield officials and the veterinarians and their legal representatives, would have to be approved by the board of adjustment before the application’s approval is finalized.

Sign Up for E-News

The veterinary group wishes to demolish the existing two-story veterinary hospital and a separate building which houses a kennel to make way for a three-story structure that would house only a veterinary hospital and offices.

Zoning board attorney, Vincent Loughlin, advised the board to seek the developer’s agreement, with construction contracts attached, due to the fact that the veterinarians, as part of the “phasing plan” for construction want to keep their current business in operation while the new facility is being built.

He said the town has seen many construction projects go on long after the promised completion date and he did not want to see the board approve the unusual temporary variance to keep a business running while a new facility is built without some guarantees.

The applicant’s engineer, Thomas Quinn of Scotch Plains, outlined a six-phase construction plan that, he said, would stretch over 15 months.

Quinn added, however, that he had been given the 15-month figure by a construction contractor in e-mails and had not actually spoken to the contractor.

Dr. Thomas Maus, one of the applicants, told Loughlin that his brother, who had been in the construction field his whole life, had provided the information used in the phasing plan.

Loughlin was not confident “hearsay” about information provided by the brother of the applicant could be relied upon in determining if the phasing schedule would be followed.

He said there also should be a pre-construction dialogue between town officials and contractors and other representatives of the applicant.

The board attorney also called for an escrow account with bonding in case the existing facility was not demolished as planned.

In addition to the developer’s agreement requirement, the zoning body’s approval also was conditioned on discontinuation of the boarding facility currently on the property, a ban on radioactive materials and a crematorium on the site and approval by the Union County Planning Board and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.

Although the county had approved the application, Drew questioned a provision by the county that a portion of the Springfield Avenue right-of-way in front of the hospital be dedicated to the town rather than the county.

He believed the right-of-way should be dedicated as county property since Springfield Avenue is a county rather than a town road.

In order to meet parking variances sought by the veterinary group, board chairman, William Heinbokel, said the applicant should be required to live up to assurances made by Maus that the veterinary group would not go beyond its current roster of 45 employees unless its business expanded once the new facility was in operation.

Maintaining the 45-employee roster, he said, with employees working in two shifts, would help ensure the new facility could operate efficiently with the proposed 59 parking spaces rather than the 81 spaces required by the town’s zoning ordinance.

Aside, from the conditions for the application, however, board members were in favor of the proposal.

Heinbokel said the applicants currently had to do business in a facility “retrofitted” to accommodate its uses, whereas the proposed state-of-the-art facility would be “much more holistic.”

“This is a well-thought-out plan that will vastly improve the use,” said board member, Andy Wasserman.

He praised the elimination of the kennel and reconfiguration of the current haphazard traffic pattern along with relocation of the animal hospital from the front to the rear of the property.

Board member, Mark Doherty, said the plan would improve the quality and service of the facility.

In reviewing the plans for the site, applicant planner, John McDonough, said, “It is good planning to allow uses to evolve.”

He noted the new hospital would combine all the facilities in one state-of-the-art building, the parking lot would contain more lighting, there would be better traffic circulation and the renovated site would contain 17 additional plants, most of which would be dogwoods.

The proposal’s call for a five-foot setback rather than the required 55-feet, he said, would not change the site much because the new building would be constructed over an existing paved area.

In fact, he added, the plan would not increase the impervious coverage of the site.

Although the phasing plan caused him some concern about the safety of employees and clients during construction, board vice president, Chris Masciale, said the developer’s agreements and other requirements for town oversight assured the project would be done correctly.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Another Car Smashes into CVS on Morris Avenue in Union

April 21, 2018

UNION, NJ – For the third time in the past year, a car hit the CVS building at 2287 Morris Avenue at the corner of Commerce Avenue.

Union firefighters responded to a call at the CVS at about 12:50 p.m. Thursday.  According to Fire Chief Mike Scanio, a car had struck the building. The Union Fire Department Special Operations Team along with a township construction official ...

2018 Municipal Budget is on Collision Course with Principles of Financial Soundness & Stability

April 18, 2018

Having chaired the town council’s finance committee in the recent past, I appreciate the hard work that goes into developing a municipal budget for a town as large and dynamic as Westfield. But as I have expressed publicly and also to the mayor and my council colleagues, I do not support the adoption of Westfield’s 2018 municipal budget. Although the budget contains much that I ...

Upcoming Events


Sun, April 22, 11:00 AM

Roosevelt Intermediate School , Westfield

Greta's Run

Giving Back Sports


Sun, April 22, 12:00 PM

James Ward Mansion, Westfield

Westfield Sandwich Fest

Food & Drink


Sun, April 22, 12:00 PM


Westfield 2018 Earth Day Celebration


Westfield Police Blotter: Residence Burglarized & More

April 18, 2018

April 11, 2018 10:23 a.m.

Raymond Rodgers, 56, of Westfield, NJ was arrested in the area of E. Broad Street. Rodgers was arrested pursuant to an unrelated traffic investigation. Rogers was transported to Westfield Police HQ without incident. At WPD HQ, Rodgers was processed and released after posting the full bail amount ($250). Rodgers was arrested on the strength of an outstanding Westfield ...

The Secret to Managing Insulin for Weight Loss

April 21, 2018

Not too long ago I was sitting with my good friend, Charlie, and I asked him, "Hey Charlie, what's the easiest way to get rid of belly fat?"

"C'mon, Tony, you know the answer to that question." I was pretty sure I did, but I wanted to see if he knew something I didn't. Charlie continued, "The secret to losing belly fat and keeping it off is simply a matter ...

'The Sting' shimmers and shakes at Paper Mill

‘The Sting ‘slithers and shakes at Paper Mill Playhouse


MILLBURN, NJ – In a premiere production of “The Sting,” Harry Connick Jr. commands the Paper Mill Playhouse stage in Millburn.

Based on the sensational Paul Newman/Robert Redford film in 1973, the 1930s plot centers on a con game and gambling, sometimes on a train between New York and ...

Edison Students Participate in Beta Test of Google Augmented Reality App

Students and teachers at Edison Intermediate School participated in a recent beta test of a Google application that uses augmented reality technology to explore the inner workings of plant cells, the functions and framework of the human skeletal system, and other educational subjects.

Edison Media Specialist Andrew Cusumano arranged for a Google representative to visit the school on April 9 to ...

Get Your Home Ready for Summer Before its TOO HOT

Finally, the weather is getting warmer and you are shedding those down coats. Now is a great time to start thinking about summer and getting your home prepared. Paying attention to a few maintenance items can alleviate painful repairs later on if you wait too long. The line ahead of you will build as the summer rush starts. So, let’s not wait.

Check your roof   (hire the expert ...

Why We Keep Kosher

Why We Keep Kosher

This week's parshah, Shemini, introduces the Torah's dietary laws. Animals must chew their cud and have split hooves to be kosher, fish need fins and scales, and a list of forbidden fowl is enumerated.

To those of us in Jewish education, it is a continuing source of disappointment that so many Jews still believe the kosher laws to be outdated.

Hellenic Therapy Center

April 13, 2018

Dropping Off Our Kids At College – Learning How To Adjust

Hellenic Therapy Center


Whether your kid is a freshman entering college for the first time or returning back to college, there are so many emotions we experience as parents.  There are differences in a parent’s reaction to the departure of a first child, an only child or even the last child.  Feelings ...


Oct 21, 1944 - Apr 14, 2018
Kathleen A. Hertell passed away peacefully with family at her bedside on April 14, 2018. Loving ...
Read more

Mets Sign Patriots Pitcher Before He Can Unpack His Gear

April 20, 2018

BRIDGEWATER, NJ — The Somerset Patriots have announced that right-hand pitcher Scott Copeland’s contract has been purchased by the New York Mets.

So, instead of stretching out and getting in shape at TD Bank Ballpark, he's been sent to extended spring training at the Mets' complex in Port St. Lucie, Fla.

The 6’3” righty broke into the big leagues in ...