By Lucie Roy
Morinville – It seems Morinville is for the dogs. The development permit for a new dog daycare and dog fitness facility has been approved, allowing Francie and Trevor Pipke to open their new business in Morinville’s industrial park.
On Dec. 14 the Subdivision and Development Appeal Board (SDAB) heard an appeal against the Municipal Planning Commission’s approval of a development permit for the proposed business. The SDAB’s notice of appeal decision was received in the mail Dec. 20 by all interested parties, less than a week after the hearing. The SDAB had allotted up to 15 days to reach their decision.
During the Dec. 14 appeal hearing, the board heard from legal representation, Janet Hutchison, on behalf of Morinville’s director of municipal planning and development. Her argument centered on two key points: the first being the development was both appropriate and approved discretionary use of the industrial park. Her second key point focused on the legality of one of the appellant’s (VetStrategy Alberta, the new owners of the Morinville Vetrinery Clinic) having an outside pen under Morinville’s Land Use Bylaw definitions for veterinary clinics or animal hospitals. The point made the appellant’s argument a moot point.
The appellant clinic centered their submissions on pet safety and security as well as concerns about the negative consequences of having an increased concentration of dogs in the immediate vicinity.
Ms. Hutchinson pointed out the proposed development was within an area that is specifically designed to handle noise, traffic and increased human activity throughout day time hours and expressed her belief the additional activity of the dog daycare and potential noise from it should not adversely affect the use and enjoyment of the veterinary clinic due to the density and concentration of animal boarding operations being so close.
The Municipal Planning Commission’s original decision is supported with the SDAB decision and the development permit is maintained with conditions as specified by the Municipal Planning Commission. Those five conditions were: compliance with the Morinville Responsible Pet Ownership Bylaw; a landscaping plan with fences to be submitted to the Town of Morinville’s planning officer; no animals on the premises between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.; no unattended or uncontrolled dogs in an open space between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m., and no noise or odour.
Some related businesses pleased with the approval
Although the Morinville Veterinary Clinic opposed the approval of the new business on concerns for the animals they care for, other town animal businesses are pleased to see a new player in town. Jennifer Boisvert of Krazy Klipz K-9 Boutique said she is very happy to have the new business in town. She said she is kept busy with dog grooming up to 16 dogs a day. Tammy Frieze of Noah’s Ark Pets & Supplies, who is also busy with pet grooming, said she was also pleased to hear of the new business and welcomed them to town.
The Town of Morinville issued approximately 572 dog licenses in 2011. Renewal notices for 2012 have now been sent. Renewals are mailed to those who previously had a dog license. It is up to the dog owners to ensure they comply with the regulations. Animal ownership Information is on the Town of Morinville website and licenses must be obtained or renewed annually on or before the beginning of February.