Kenwood Press


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News: 02/15/2013

Kennel proposal back at the BZA





After almost a year, the Meadows Kennel off of Sonoma Hwy. across from Oakmont, is back in front of the county’s Board of Zoning Adjustments with a revised expansion proposal.

Last time around, a proposal for taking care of up to 50 dogs on the corner property at 6445 Sonoma Hwy. attracted lots of input, both pro and con. There were a number of objections about potential noise and traffic safety problems, some from Oakmonters living across the highway and many from neighbors who live on the rural road that passes by the kennel. Many of the neighbors noted that there was another dog kennel already on the road.

At last year’s BZA hearing, commissioners asked Meadows Kennel owner Heidi Niemann to tweak her proposal and get more information regarding traffic, as well more details about how noise would be addressed in the proposed 1,500 square foot new kennel building.

Neimann now has a revised proposal and will appear in front of the BZA on Thursday, Feb. 21, 2 p.m., in the Permit and Resource Management Department hearing room, 2550 Ventura Ave., Santa Rosa.

According to the public hearing notice, the new use permit request is for a two-phased project, eventually resulting in a new kennel (the same as proposed earlier), and boarding and doggie daycare for up to 35 dogs on site at any one time.

The kennel would open for pick-up and drop-off from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday.

When the facility is in full operation, up to five full-time and two part-time employees would be allowed.

After the 2012 BZA hearing, additional traffic and noise studies were conducted.

To minimize noise at the site, according to the updated acoustical report, Niemann has agreed to not have any dogs outside between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m., have no more than 20 dogs outdoors at any time, keep all doors and windows of existing and new kennel buildings closed at all times (except for entry and exit), and that building materials for the new kennel be chosen to enhance noise control.

The supplemental noise report also concluded that even with the proposed kennel in full operation, the “noise environment” in the area would be dominated by vehicle traffic sound on Sonoma Hwy.

A supplemental traffic study was also conducted, which determined, in part, that the kennel expansion would have a “negligible” impact on a.m. and p.m. peak hour traffic in the area, that stopping sight distances in both directions of Sonoma Hwy. in the area of the kennel’s road were adequate, and that collision history in the immediate area, “does not indicate an immediate concern at this intersection.”



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