New veterinary clinic to arrive in Newport Beach, following planning commission approvals

Two women walk their dogs as they stroll along a path at Upper Newport Bay in Newport Beach.
(Kevin Chang / Staff Photographer)

A new veterinary clinic will soon open its doors in Newport Beach after the proposed project received unanimous approval this week from the city’s Planning Commission.

Commissioners approved a conditional use permit Thursday to allow for a veterinary clinic to replace Sole Comfort in the Newport North Shopping Center on Bison Avenue.

The 3,414-square-foot clinic is based on appointments and was proposed to operate between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekdays and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays.

No animals are proposed to be lodged there, except for those that may be in critical condition. Services are expected to include wellness exams, preventative care, vaccines and surgeries, assistant planner Patrick Achis said during a presentation for commissioners.

Commission chair Erik Weigand proposed extending the hours of operation to 8 p.m. and Commissioner Peter Koetting raised concerns about whether or not staff would be asked to stay overnight with a post-surgical animal.

Applicant Rajat Garhwal explained that the clinic will only shelter animals whose vitals are stable.

Those with critical conditions could be accompanied by staff or transferred to emergency room clinics.

A staff report prepared for Thursday’s meeting said the clinic’s staff is expected to be no more than 10, including veterinarians, front desk staff, a manager and veterinary assistants.

As part of the conditional use permit, the city is requiring the clinic be enclosed, sound-proofed and air conditioned.

Animal cremation is prohibited at the site and grooming activities will not be allowed, except for grooming that is medically necessary. Also, the permit allows no outdoor runs or cages.

City staff were also directed to extend the hours of operation to 8 p.m. by the Planning Commission as part of their action.

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