Veterinarian Looks To Open New Office In Hampton Bays

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A residential property along West Montauk Highway in Hampton Bays could soon be converted into a veterinary office.

Dr. Dorothy Walker, who has operated the Animal Clinic of Hampton Bays from a medical office at 332 West Montauk Highway since 2010, recently bought a 1-acre lot at 238 West Montauk Highway for $395,000. She now has a plan before the Southampton Town Planning Board that seeks to convert the gray, single-story house into her new office.

A 30-year veteran of the field, Dr. Walker said she needs to relocate from her current office, which sits less than a mile to the west of her new property, because she has outgrown the space. “I haven’t been able to provide overnight stay,” Dr. Walker said. “It’s definitely something I have a need for.”

The plan now before the Planning Board seeks to alter the property’s residential zoning by securing a special exemption, which would permit a veterinary office. The property to the left is vacant, while another house sits to the right.

If approved, Dr. Walker said her new facility will have room to board 25 animals in the basement, which will have an exit and windows. Diane Herold, Dr. Walker’s architect, told Planning Board members late last month that the proposed facility will comply with all Suffolk County Department of Health regulations and town requirements, including a 50-foot setback from Montauk Highway.

Under the proposal, the current driveway will be eliminated and a new one installed that will lead to a small parking lot. The new driveway will be safer, according to Ms. Harold and Dr. Walker, because it will improve the visibility of drivers pulling in and out of the driveway.

Dr. Walker employs two other veterinarians, including a certified surgeon, who will join her in her new space. “It’s going to be very personalized care,” she said.

In addition to boarding capabilities, the new facility would provide space for day care and puppy training classes. Dr. Walker said she wants to install a fence for an outside enclosure area for the dogs in day care. She added that the animals would be supervised at all times.

No residents addressed the board during last month’s hearing, and no one has filed any written concerns with Town Hall in the ensuing 10-day public comment period, which has since closed. Dr. Walker said she does not yet know when her application will be ruled on by the Planning Board.

“I went through a lot opening this office,” Dr. Walker said of her current facility. “So, now I’m just waiting to exhale.”

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