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Red Deer County approves dog daycare

Facility offers lounge for dog owners and play areas for their pooches
Dog owners may get a chance to watch their pooches play while enjoying a pint as a Red Deer County business moved forward with its application on Tuesday.

Dog owners will be able to hoist a pint while their pooches play at a new Red Deer County business.

The county's municipal planning commission conditionally approved on Tuesday a development permit for Sally's Social House and Play Centre in an industrial area just north of Red Deer.

The facility, which may be the first of its kind in Alberta, combines a bar/lounge area and observation deck for two-footed visitors and indoor and outdoor play areas, including an indoor dog pool, for their four-footed friends.

About 350 private memberships will be sold to those who want to take advantage of the dog daycare, which unlike a kennel, does not provide overnight stays.

To get the green light, applicant Dale Siemens needed a 164-metre relaxation to the county's 300-metre setback for kennels from the nearest residence.

The planning commission was told that unlike a kennel, dogs will not be locked up in cages and barking is expected to be minimal because they will be playing and otherwise active

A nine-metre berm behind the property is also expected to reduce noise behind the property that features a 16,000-square-foot leased building and nearly 25,000 square feet of outdoor exercise space.

Commission members said while they liked the proposal they were concerned about the impact on nearby residents in North Lane Estates. The closest residence is 136 metres away from the perimeter of the dog play area and four others are less than 300 metres away.

There was also concern that the proposed hours for outdoor activity from 8 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. might lead to conflict with neighbours.

Coun. Christine Moore proposed outdoor hours be changed to 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

"I'm not against this business in any way. I believe there's a good market for this and it's a good idea," she said.

"But I have to consider the surroundings."

After some debate, it was agreed that the development permit be approved with outdoor hours reduced to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The commission also rejected a request that a noise impact assessment, which can cost several thousand dollars, only be required if there were complaints.

Commission members were reluctant to drop that condition with several pointing out that the assessments had been required for similar applications. A fence around the facility will also have to be screened to act as a further sound barrier.


Paul Cowley

About the Author: Paul Cowley

Paul grew up in Brampton, Ont. and began his journalism career in 1990 at the Alaska Highway News in Fort. St. John, B.C.
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