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Doggy day care proposed for South Transit Road

LOCKPORT – A Royalton couple is proposing to open a dog day care center in a former Honda motorcycle dealership on South Transit Road in Lockport.

Daniel K. McKie and his wife, Cheryl McKie, told the Town of Lockport Planning Board that they expect to complete their purchase of the vacant building at 6695 S. Transit Road, opposite Dunnigan Road, about May 1.

Cheryl McKie said the business will be open weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., and her husband said no dogs will be housed overnight.

“That’s usually when the problems occur,” Town Planner Andrew C. Reilly said.

Most of the activity will be indoors, although there will be two outdoor play areas behind the building, surrounded by 6-foot stockade fences.

Daniel McKie said there will be no more than five employees at the doggy day care. “We’re hoping for 20 or 30 (dogs), but it’ll probably hold 40 or 50,” he said.

Plans call for making three smaller spaces in the main building available for rental by other businesses.

Town Attorney Michael J. Norris said the Planning Board can’t act until the town Zoning Board of Appeals grants a use variance for the project, perhaps as soon as its April 26 meeting. Reilly said Lockport’s zoning code allows kennels only in an agricultural zone, but the South Transit Road site is zoned for business.

The town granted approval for a kennel on Robinson Road in 2012, despite opposition and unsuccessful litigation from neighbors.

The project never was built, however.

In addition to the approvals from the town’s Planning and Zoning boards, the McKies also need the approval of the Niagara County Planning Board, which is to discuss the project April 18.

They are buying the building from owner William L. Heitzenrater of Niagara Falls.

Another project before the town planners last week will be the subject of a public hearing at 7 p.m. April 19 in Town Hall.

Gerald Tomaino, owner of Wrights Corners Self Storage, 4040 Lake Ave., wants to add rental of vans and small trucks to his offerings.

Tomaino opened his business in 2010 and expanded it in 2014. There are five storage buildings now, and Timothy W. Arlington of Lockport’s Apex Consulting said Tomaino wants to add a sixth to house the vehicles. However, until that’s constructed, he needs permission for outdoor storage.

That would take the form of amending his current special use permit, Reilly said.

Arlington said the vehicles would be stored at the rear of the property.

He said the grade there is 10 to 12 feet below the road, so the vehicles wouldn’t be readily visible.