Doggy day­care will have its day in coun­cil

Sur­round­ing busi­nesses speak out against pro­posal

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY CAPE BRE­TON POST STAFF

Cape Bre­ton Re­gional Mu­nic­i­pal­ity coun­cil will de­cide later this month whether a pro­posed doggy day­care that’s been hounded by op­po­si­tion can go ahead.

Dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing Wed­nes­day night, sev­eral busi­ness own­ers and res­i­dents spoke out against Nicole Camp­bell’s plans to build a doggy day­care on Keltic Drive. The project re­quires a text amend­ment to the CBRM land-use by­law, which cur­rently for­bids an­i­mal-sit­ting and board­ing ken­nels from set­ting up on prop­er­ties with mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter and sewer ser­vice.

Bryan Mac­Don­ald, co-owner of Bre­ton Brew­ing Co., said his busi­ness is lo­cated a few hun­dred feet from Camp­bell’s prop­erty. He said they are con­cerned bark­ing would drive cus­tomers away from their tap­room and out­door beer gar­den, which ac­count for 25 per cent of the com­pany’s profits.

“The most con­cern­ing as­pect is the noise,” he told the ap­prox­i­mately 60 peo­ple at the Syd­ney-Riverview Y Ser­vice Club in Westmount. “We have spo­ken to ken­nel own­ers in the area and most of them have 10-12 dogs and all of them said the same thing — it is loud. One dog starts bark­ing and they all start bark­ing.

“We’re look­ing for the zon­ing to stay as-is. The same zon­ing that was in place when we opened our brew­ery three years ago, the same zon­ing that was in place when we spent money to open a beer gar­den last year.”

Noise is an even greater con­cern for Sound­park Stu­dios owner Jamie Foulds. The award-win­ning pro­ducer said the con­trol room where he mixes his mu­sic every day is 30 feet from Camp­bell’s prop­erty line.

“So, I’m against this text amend­ment, ob­vi­ously,” he said. “I be­lieve that hav­ing a dog­gie day­care, whether it be in­doors or out­doors, that close to my crit­i­cal lis­ten­ing space — and that is what it is; the back of my fa­cil­ity is where my mix room is, it’s where I do the bulk of my work, and it’s where my clients need me to be at my best.”

While sev­eral of Camp­bell’s friends stood up to sup­port her, the ma­jor­ity of area res­i­dents were against the pro­posal. Roger Burns, a lo­cal re­al­tor, also told the crowd the doggy day­care would ad­versely af­fect a new 149-lot sub­di­vi­sion in the area.

Peter Thomp­son, owner of Paws Awhile and Dream Ken­nels on Mira Road, spoke on be­half of other ken­nel op­er­a­tors in the CBRM. He said the ex­ist­ing by­laws re­quired most of them to op­er­ate in ru­ral ar­eas and al­low­ing Camp­bell to start her busi­ness on Keltic Drive would give her an un­fair ad­van­tage.

“We had to go out­side the city lim­its — that’s why ev­ery­body who has a dog has to leave the city in or­der to go to a ken­nel to bring their dog,” he said.

Camp­bell em­pha­sized that her busi­ness would be a doggy day­care — not a ken­nel — mean­ing that dogs, at least ini­tially, would not stay overnight. She said the busi­ness would start off with 10-15 dogs and grow to a max­i­mum of 30, with the an­i­mals spend­ing the ma­jor­ity if the time in large in­door play­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

She said the busi­ness would have its own sep­tic sys­tem and she ex­pressed her will­ing­ness to sit down and ad­dress any con­cerns neigh­bour­ing busi­ness own­ers and res­i­dents have.

“We want to work with our neigh­bours to mit­i­gate any noise. I know the noise seems like a con­cern, but when you look at the busi­ness model, that’s not ac­tu­ally that much of a con­cern be­cause it is go­ing to be an in­door fa­cil­ity. There is ob­vi­ously the out­door com­po­nent, how­ever we’re will­ing to work with the com­mu­nity to try to find any way to mit­i­gate noise.”

Dist. 4 Coun. Steve Gille­spie rep­re­sents the area. He said the pro­posed by­law amend­ment will go be­fore coun­cil at its June 26 meet­ing.

While he said most of the busi­ness own­ers and res­i­dents seem op­posed to the idea, there is still a chance the busi­ness could work.

“Ini­tially, I was for it. As I learned more about it, I re­al­ized that al­though it is a great idea, it may be in the wrong place. But keep in mind that coun­cil also has the per­mis­sion to make a change to the amend­ment that’s be­ing made. Some peo­ple are con­cerned about this be­ing a dog­gie day­care and a ken­nel sce­nario. We could look at this and go back to the pro­po­nent and ask them to make an ad­just­ment to what they’re will­ing to do. Say the dog­gie day­care starts off and it goes well and it’s not hin­der­ing busi­ness in the area, then the next log­i­cal step would be an overnight. But if it does hin­der then there wouldn’t be any op­por­tu­nity for growth.”

CAPE BRE­TON POST PHOTO

Nicole Camp­bell out­lines her plans to build a doggy day­care on Keltic Drive dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing at the Syd­ney-Riverview Y Ser­vice Club in Westmount on Wed­nes­day. The project re­quires a text amend­ment to the CBRM land-use by­law, which cur­rently for­bids an­i­mal-sit­ting and board­ing ken­nels from set­ting up on prop­er­ties with mu­nic­i­pal wa­ter and sewer ser­vice. Coun­cil will vote on the pro­posed amend­ment at its June 26 meet­ing.

Foulds

Gille­spie

Mac­Don­ald

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