Dedham Campus Plan – FAQs

Q. What is the purpose of the Animal Rescue League of Boston?

A. The basic purpose and mission of the Animal Rescue League of Boston (ARL) is the establishment of refuges for and the rescue and relief of suffering or homeless animals and any other charitable or benevolent act for the welfare of animals.

Q. Where does ARL currently have facilities?

A. In addition to the Dedham Campus, ARL has administrative offices (Finance/IT/HR/Facilities) in Boston, a shelter/clinic in Boston (the largest ARL shelter/clinic), a shelter in Brewster, and a mobile wagon garage in Carver.

Q. As part of this Project, will ARL be closing all of the other facilities and consolidating all activities onto the Dedham Campus?

A. The only facilities that will be closed is the administrative offices in Boston and the garage in Carver. The administrative staff from this Boston facility already come to the Dedham Campus several times a week and the mobile vehicles are often on the campus. As part of the master planning for ARL’s future, there is no intention of closing any other facility or moving any other activities to the Dedham Campus.

Q. What are the primary components of the Project?

A. The Project includes the construction of a new multi-use/administration building on the Lower Terrace facing Pine Street (referred to as the “Administration Building”), construction of a new maintenance and storage building behind the current shelter building on the Upper Terrace (referred to as the “Maintenance Building”), and associated new roadways, parking, utilities and landscaping. Each component has been designed to be respectful of our residential neighbors and to work in harmony with natural campus environment.

Q. What uses will occur in the new Administration Building?

A. The new Administration Building is designed to house administrative and programmatic staff, two mobile surgical unit vehicles, and training / meeting space.

Q. What types of functions will be held in the training / meeting space?

A. While the training/meeting space in the Administration Building has a maximum capacity of approximately 120 people, it is anticipated it will only be utilized to such capacity 3 – 4 times a year for meetings of all ARL staff from all locations. It will also be used for donor meetings for approximately 50 people about 3 times per year. In addition, the existing dog training program (approximately 10 dogs at a time), already on the Dedham Campus, will be relocated to this space. The space is not intended for any outside rental activities. ARL is willing to make the space available to local neighborhood and Town groups.

Q. What are the sizes of the buildings?

A. The Administration Building has a footprint of approximately 14,000 square feet. It is a two-story building with a total gross building area of approximately 25,000 square feet. The building height, to the roof peak, is approximately 40’. The Maintenance Building is a single-story building of approximately 3,000 square feet.

Q. How far away are the buildings from Pine Street?

A. The Administration Building ranges from 125’ to 145’ from Pine Street. This far exceeds the minimum street setback requirements under the Dedham Zoning By-Law. For reference, the existing maintenance shed is currently 165’ away from Pine Street and the existing caretaker’s house is currently 85’ feet away from Pine Street. The new Maintenance Building would be set back approximately 375’ from Pine Street.

Q. How many parking spaces are you adding to the site?

A. There are currently approximately 28 parking spaces on the campus. The proposed project will add approximately 85 asphalt parking spaces and 35 unpaved overflow spaces. The parking is designed so that 100% of vehicles can be accommodated on-site during the occasional all staff meeting and similar use of the meeting space.

Q. How many additional people will be coming to the Dedham Campus as a result of this Project?

A. Currently there are approximately 26 employees and 15 volunteers “assigned” to the Dedham Campus. However, staff from other ARL facilities (including the Boston administrative office) already come to the Dedham Campus several times a week. To be conservative for traffic analysis and other purposes, it is assumed that there are 41 ARL personnel (26 full time equivalent employees and 15 volunteers) and that, upon completion of the Project, there will be 71 ARL personnel (56 full time equivalent employees and 15 volunteers) on the Campus. As discussed below, any additional traffic generated on Pine Street will be primarily during non-peak hours.

Q. Will you be adding more dogs at the property?

A. No. The project does not include any new animal care capacity. The property is currently
licensed by the Town of Dedham for 25 dogs and there is no plan to increase that number.

Q. Will you be performing a traffic impact study?

A. Yes. VHB of Boston has been engaged to perform a thorough transportation impact study, which will be presented to the neighborhood and submitted to the Planning Board. Traffic counts at numerous intersections at and near the property were performed in January while Nobles and Greenough and public schools were in full session. Initial findings indicate that the additional traffic generated as a result of this Project on Pine Street during morning and evening peak hours (7:15- 8:15am and 3:30-4:30pm) will be negligible. It should be noted that most administrative staff work 9:00am–5:00pm, and will be coming to and leaving the Campus during non-peak hours. In addition, while the shelter currently operates and will continue to operate (with approximately 6 people) from 7:30am-7:30pm, it is only open to the public from 1:00pm-6:30pm.

Q. What kind of landscaping will be included?

A. The planting program is being designed of native species to reinforce the rural nature of the site and to buffer views of the building and the parking lots from Pine Street. Low fencing will be utilized to shield vehicle lights from the parking lots. All site lighting will be low impact full cut-off fixtures to minimize glare and maintain the dark sky.

Q. Can you describe the design objectives for the Administration Building?

A. Design of the Administration Building follows the look and form of traditional New England connected farm buildings. The building is made of four connected blocks which visually reduces the overall scale and allows the building to fit into the existing hillside. Primary materials will be wood exterior siding in a natural weathered gray color and standing seam metal roofing in a darker gray.

Q. What is the Town approval process?

A. Under the Dedham Zoning By-Law, the Project is allowed by Special Permit at the Dedham Campus. In addition, the Project will be subject to the most extensive and comprehensive Site Plan Review provided for under the Dedham Zoning By-Law. The application “package” will include full site plans, architectural renderings, environmental/planting plans, traffic impact report, and polar diagrams (lighting plans). It is anticipated that the application “package” will be submitted to the Dedham Planning Board sometime in the summer of 2019. Upon submission, the Planning Board will refer the Project to a third-party peer reviewer for review and comment.