Overland Park balks at doggie day care

08/06/2013 5:51 PM

08/06/2013 5:51 PM

Concerned about the noise of barking dogs, the Overland Park City Council told its planning commission Monday to re-examine a dog day-care center proposed for 7801 W. 119th St.

It would be called Brookside Barkery and Bath Wellness Center. The location, now vacant, used to be a Sprint retail store. Brookside Barkery and Bath runs other retail operations in the metropolitan area.

The council balked at the center’s proposed outside play area for pooches.

“This (dog day care) is a block away from the Korean War Memorial and we don’t want to take away from that very good thing,” said Overland Park City Council President David White.

The outdoor exercise “room” would be an extension of the main building. It would be encircled by a four-foot high brick wall, with two feet of wrought iron fencing on top.

The exercise area would be open to the air for five or six more feet, then capped with a white nylon reinforced fabric roof that council members said resembled a “carnival tent.” The “tent” would be 28 feet high, eight feet taller than the roof of the main building.

“Can you scale it back? Reduce the carnival look? Why can’t it (the roof) be flat?” asked Councilman Dan Stock.

Business owner Larry Stout responded, “We can’t let rainwater penetrate the roof. We need to get air circulation into the tent, and we need to let rainwater run off the roof. That’s why the height.”

The floor of the outdoor exercise area would be a canine friendly artificial turf. Liquid waste would drip into the sewer and employees would pick up the solid waste for later disposal.

Stout, the owner, said he had notified three nearby homeowners of the proposed dog day care. Their property abuts the parking lots near the building.

But dozens of other homes and businesses are within “barking distance,” but don’t know it, council members said.

And those neighbors may want to take a long look at the plan.

“We didn’t publicize this one,” said Councilman Stock. “Whenever we’ve had a doggie day care it’s been controversial.”

The facility would board 120 dogs at any one time. Twelve to 15 canines might be outside in the exercise area at any one time.

The Overland Park Planning Commission approved the proposed center July 8, for a period of five years. Stout, the owner, asked for a special use permit to put his business in the now-vacant building.

The Overland Park City Council voted unanimously to send the request back to the planning commission to address the noise issue and the roof controversy.

The council also held a public hearing on the 2014 budget Monday evening. One Overland Park resident spoke.

“Will the state decrease what it gives us in alcohol and gas taxes?” asked Overland Park resident Leonore Rowe.

“I don’t think so,” said Mayor Carl Gerlach.

The $174.1 million 2014 operating budget will hold the current property tax rate of 12.79 mills, which City Manager Bill Ebel said is the lowest in Johnson County.

Ebel said the budget reflects the importance of “taking care of what we have.”

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