Seeks permit to operate in North Highlands
Dr. Peter Bach and his Animal Hospital of Cold Spring are in transition, moving from its longstanding village location to the North Highlands.
After receiving pets for nearly 18 years at his offices between Drug World and Yannitelli’s Fine Wine and Spirits at 55 Chestnut St., Bach closed the office on Dec. 31. He has since asked the Philipstown Planning Board for a special permit to operate in a 400-square-foot space that had been a garage at his home on Fishkill Road, near the intersection with Lake Surprise Road.
Bach’s most recent lease agreement, which expired Oct. 31, was not renewed. The building is owned by Andon Associates, and Donnie Yannitelli said he and the other owners of the firm did not want to comment on plans for the space.
In January, Bach began renovating the garage, which is accessed by a driveway off Fishkill Road. However, Philipstown issued a stop-work order because he had not obtained the needed building permits or the special permit required to operate a veterinary hospital in a rural residential zone. The town also identified a number of code violations.
“We were doing emergency care and urgent care for a while until the town issued the stop-work order,” said Bach, who has been a veterinarian for 36 years. In the meantime, he is making house calls and meeting with pet owners over Zoom.
In a report to the Planning Board, consultant Ron Gainer said the renovation would be considered a “minor project,” which means that a public hearing is optional. Board members made a site visit on March 5 and are scheduled to discuss on Thursday (March 30) whether to hold a hearing. Bach’s application also could be referred to other town, county and state agencies for comment.
If approved, the project will have to meet criteria such as providing adequate parking, limited signage and no exterior storage of materials unless hidden by screens. The exterior of the residence also cannot take on the “appearance of a business” or alter neighborhood character.
To bolster their application, Bach and his wife, Andrea, have solicited letters of support from clients and community members. Andrea Bach, who works at the practice with her husband, described the response as “heartwarming” and said they have received more than 30 letters to date, with others sent directly to the town.
“I’m hoping we don’t lose too many clients; some have had to go elsewhere,” Peter Bach said. “I’m a Philipstown resident; I’ve practiced here for many years, and I think I have contributed a lot to the community.”
Dr. Bach is a wonderful person as well as a gifted and dedicated vet. Over the years he has moved heaven and earth to care for our pets. For animal lovers, there is no peace of mind quite like a local, quality veterinary practice and a vet who will always return your calls, even late at night. I hope his business is able to open again soon. My family is indebted to him several times over.
I am a strong supporter for Dr. Bach being able to re-open his vet clinic at his residence. He is a much needed resource and wonderful vet for so many Philipstown pet owners.
We have moved away since, but Dr. Bach and his wife Andrea were the most caring veterinarian office we have ever had (3 dogs, some elderly, puppies and strays), their love for animals is unsurpassed. So, hoping they will be allowed to re-open their practice as soon as possible.
Dr. Bach, Andrea and the entire practice has been an indispensable part of pet ownership life for my family and I. For decades Dr Bach has administered compassionate care to all of my pets. It would be a tremendous loss to the community if he were not able to continue practice here in town.
Dr. Bach has been an indispensable part of our community for so many years. We have been blessed to have a local vet as compassionate and experienced as Dr. Bach, who has shown an unwavering commitment to the four legged residents of our town. For my family, he has treated our dogs and cats through all stages of life over the last 18 years, including emergency care that saved our dog’s life. Had there not been a local vet in our town, our dog would not have made it. We owe him so much and the least we can do is support him in his desire to continue serving our community.