NEWBURYPORT — The City Council adopted an order Tuesday to allow kennels and animal-boarding facilities in the city's business park.

The order, drafted by Councilor at large Joseph Devlin, allows buildings or property in the business park to be used for temporary housing for dogs, cats "and/or domesticated animals" during the daytime or overnight. It also allows grooming as an accessory professional retail use, and prohibits kennels from opening within 500 feet of a residential district. 

The council also approved an order to designate new two-hour residential parking permit zones on various streets downtown and in the South End. 

The order, sponsored by Councilors Heather Shand and Jared Eigerman, sets the two-hour residential zones in the South End on Otis Place and areas of Center, Charter, Essex, Fair, Fruit, Garden, Independent, Middle and Liberty streets.

In the downtown, areas of Birch, Court, Green, Harris, Market, Pleasant, Summer, Titcomb, Washington and Winter streets will see the implementation of two-hour residential parking zones. Portions of Arlington, Ashland, Bricher, Cherry, Ferry, Hill, Lafayette and State streets will also be affected.

Eigerman said the ordinance is a "cleanup amendment" to the city's parking program, and was introduced because residents of some streets have had difficulty parking in their own neighborhoods. 

Under the ordinance, anyone may park in the affected zones for free for up to two hours, but only local residents may park there longer. 

The council also unanimously adopted an ordinance during its second and final required reading Tuesday to create the Brown School Overlay District in the South End.

The ordinance, sponsored by Ward 1 Councilor Sharif Zeid, includes three zoning options offering different choices for the future of the Brown School’s gymnasium and Newburyport Youth Services, which is located in the building. 

The ordinance was approved in its first reading earlier this month. The full council approved it except for Councilors Thomas O'Brien, who was absent, and Afroz Khan, who recused herself from the vote because she is an abutter.

The council accepted a $35,000 grant from the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority to spread loam and plant grass on a portion of its East Lot. The area previously contained 125 parking spaces, but was closed to vehicles recently and is to be used as an expanded waterfront park space. 

"If we don't plant the grass now, it won't hold by the spring," Eigerman explained. "The idea is to make the area more usable."  

The City Council also approved the second reading of an ordinance to require that the appointment of the city solicitor be subject to the council’s approval. 

The ordinance was approved during its first reading earlier this month. It reinforces the council’s duty to approve whenever the city solicitor settles a case — a regulation that has not been enforced over the years.

The council accepted a gift of $40,732 from local drug substance manufacturer PCI Synthesis to pay for tree care and plantings throughout the city. 

PCI Synthesis contacted the commission last year to fund the planting of 63 trees in Newburyport as part of a settlement of an enforcement action with the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a memorandum from the Tree Commission. 

At the end of the meeting, the council went into a closed-door session to discuss a zoning appeal relating to Twomey-LeBlanc and Conte Funeral Home on High Street. 

Staff writer Jack Shea covers Newbury­port City Hall. He can be reached via email at jshea@newburyportnews.com or by phone at 978-961-3154. Follow him on Twitter @iamjackshea.

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