MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - The county’s municipal planning commission (MPC) has denied a development permit application for a commercial kennel with a setback relaxation to exercise yards on a 15.78 acre parcel in the county's Jackson area outside Carstairs.
The move came by way of motion at the Oct. 20 commission’s meeting, held in person and on Zoom.
The property involved is located about one kilometre north of Twp. Rd. 303 east of Rge. Rd. 25 at NE 19-30-2-5. The applicant and owner is Gregory and Karen Miller.
Kennel commercial is a discretionary use in the agricultural district.
The applicant had proposed a maximum of 59 dogs on site at any given time, with the 59 dogs including adult dogs and puppies. The kennel facility is 3,800 square feet in size.
“The breeding dogs are proposed at 70-80 per cent females and 20-30 males,” administration said in a briefing note to the commission. “That is 39 adults dogs for breeding and the remaining 20 is to account for puppies that may be on site. Eighteen to 20 of the female dogs will be producing litters while the other eight to 10 will be under a year and a half of age being assessed to replace the active litter producing females. On average this breed producers a litter of two to four puppies.”
The application was circulated to 19 adjacent landowners within about a kilometre of the subject parcel. More than 250 letters of support and 23 letters of objection were submitted to the county.
Concerns raised in the letters of objection included animal welfare, increased traffic and noise at the site, and waste pollution. The applicants responded that they intended to adhere to the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association Code of Practice for Kennel Operators, which outlines requirement for such things as square footage per dog and cleanliness.
The MPC concluded that a commercial kennel with setback relaxations to exercise yards was not suitable development for NE 19-30-2-5 Plan 9610169 Lot 1.
As such, the MPC refused the application for the following four reasons approved by the commission:
• operation too large to meet with the welfare of animals involved – care of animal welfare;
• staffing may not be adequate given the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association recommendation of 10 minutes of interaction per day;
• concerned with the amount that the female could be bred per year that it may be too strenuous on the animals; and
• unsatisfied with the fire evacuation plans as the size of the operation would be considered a commercial use however the structure was constructed at a residential standard.
Heidi Overguard is a public MPC member. She spoke during the Oct. 20 commission meeting.
“My concerns were just very technical in nature around the fire evacuation plans,” Overguard said. “This is a residential site and technically now it is commercial, so I just felt that we needed a little bit more commercial planning in terms of sprinklers or something like that.
“I just didn’t feel like our fire evacuation plan met what would be a safe practice for the size of facility or the amount of animals there.”
The applicant could appeal the MPC decision to the county’s subdivision and development appeal board.
The MPC is the county’s approving authority, made up of county councillors and appointed public members.