Residents of a Denver community vehemently argued against a proposed dog kennel at Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.
Applicants Robert Seitz and Pat McCaffery are requesting a conditional use permit for a 6.15-acre parcel located on the north side of Natalie Commons Drive, approximately 800 feet west of N.C. 16 Business.
According to Seitz, the facility would offer both day care and grooming services as well as overnight boarding.
“The community really needs the services we’re going to provide,” Seitz said.
Current plans show the state-of-the art facility would be 12,500 square-feet, with an eight-foot fence surrounding several outdoor play areas for the dogs. Approximately 100 sound-resistant kennels are expected to be constructed, allowing a maximum occupancy of 100 dogs at any point in time. As required by state law, Seitz said one certified dog handler would be assigned for every 10 dogs visiting the facility.
“We’ve got so many professionals coming to the Denver area that we’re excited about,” McCaffery said. “And these professionals often work in Charlotte and need a place to put their dogs. We know business is there. We know people are taking their dogs to Huntersville, to Cornelius. They’re taking them out of Denver. We want them to have a place in Denver…to use a facility that they have available to them that is somewhere close to home and that they can call their own space.”
In addition, McCaffery said the business plans to partner with the SPCA and the Humane Society, offering use of their facility for adoption weekends, discounts for fostering dogs and training for therapy dogs and puppies.
“We’re not thinking of this as just a business,” McCaffery said. “We’re thinking of this as a community benefit, and we want to provide this as a community service because we are part of this community.
In his presentation, Seitz addressed concerns regarding excessive noise, stating that the barking noise would be minimal, with sound deafening devices outfitting the facility.
“Unless you’re walking right by the fence, on the street, while we have a bunch of dogs out there and they all decide to get excited at once, you’re not going to know it’s there,” he said.
During their lengthy testimony, several residents of the Villages of Denver expressed their concerns over the potential noise disturbances, additional traffic that could be generated and potentially unpleasant odors stemming from the facility.
“This is the front yard of my community,” Villages of Denver resident John Sitzenstock said. “I don’t want this, number one, causing potential buyers to consider moving elsewhere. The existing property values will decrease in that neighborhood. The possibility of escaped dogs and more traffic violations will endanger children…the odor of the kennel will force nearby restaurants to lose business, and many will close, causing another abandoned strip mall. There are other places to build this facility.”
“I’m a dog lover, but it’s not a location for that type of kennel,” Janis Sitzenstock added.
Resident Matt Welch expressed concern over the neighboring properties returning to what he referred to as a wasteland.
“In 2008, when the bubble popped, this whole area right here turned into a wasteland because no one was buying property,” Welch said. “What’s going to happen when this thing is built? What’s going to happen to the community again? It’s going to turn into a wasteland again, where no one’s going to want to buy here. What are you going to do when you have 50 dogs and people are walking by this property — because people jog, walk, ride bikes here; it’s going to be crazy with all of these dogs, and people are going to hear them.”
Lincoln County resident Rudy Bauer also shared his reservations regarding the potential kennel.
“I don’t live in this neighborhood, but I do go to Joey’s and the pizza place,” Bauer said. “Joey’s has outside service, and these dogs, to me, are unsanitary. This facility could go another place. We have one on Highway 16 now. We don’t need another one close to restaurants and such. I don’t know what they do with the waste and how they take care of it, but I would imagine there is some smell coming from that place regardless of how clean they keep it.”
According to Lincoln County Zoning Administrator Randy Hawkins, under the Unified Development Ordinance, a kennel is a reasonable use of land zoned in a General Industrial District. Planning Board members voted 6-0 to recommend approval of the applicants’ request to build the dog day care and boarding facility.
Planning board members and county commissioners also held a public hearing for a conditional use permit request to operate a bed and breakfast in the Residential Single-Family district. Applicant Marni Carpenter is the owner of the proposed 9.6-acre site, located at 2800 Laboratory Rd in the Lincolnton Township. If approved, Carpenter said it would be the only historic bed and breakfast in Lincoln County.
Laboratory Mill owner John Dellinger said he was ecstatic about the idea.
“The majority of the bookings at our facility are out of town,” Dellinger said. “We have quite a few people from New York, California, Romania, Peru, just to name a few. This idea is very attractive. I knew that if properly approached it would surely have business. The majority of the people that visit us are incredibly interested in history…I think it would be a great asset to our community.”
Planning Board members voted 6-0 to recommend approval of the bed and breakfast.
Applicant Jeff Wilkinson is requesting a parallel conditional use rezoning of a 0.454-parcel from Residential Suburban to Conditional Use General Business, which would permit the servicing and sales of vehicles. The property, located at 103 Finger St., is approximately 250 feet north of N.C. 27 in the Ironton Township. The Planning Board voted 6-0 to recommend approval.
Planning Board members also voted 6-0 to recommend approval for a conditional use permit request to place a Class C singlewide manufactured home in the Residential Suburban district. The 1.8-acre parcel is located on the northeast corner of N.C. 27 and Jake Seagle Road in the North Brook Township.
Lincoln County’s Board of Commissioners is scheduled to hold its next meeting on May 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Citizens Center.