Warren County supervisors OK kennel permit

FRONT ROYAL – A Great Dane breeder can run his Warren County kennel after reaching a deal with neighbors and winning approval by local leaders.

The Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 on Tuesday to approve Michael Gibson’s request for a conditional-use permit to run a commercial kennel at 387 Ritenour Hollow Road.

North River District Supervisor Daniel J. Murray Jr. said he still had reservations about the matter but made a motion to approve the permit with the requirements recommended by the Planning Commission and to require that Gibson come into compliance with those conditions within 30 days. Shenandoah District Supervisor Thomas Sayre voted in favor of the permit “with reservations.” Chairwoman Linda Glavis and Vice Chairman Tony Carter voted in favor of the permit. Fork District Supervisor Archie Fox voted against the motion.

The applicant leases the property from Oversee LLC and runs the kennel under the name WillowBrook Danes. Gibson has 16 adult dogs, three of which are spayed or neutered pit bulls and Chihuahuas and 12 Great Danes that he uses to breed. Gibson also has 15 Great Dane puppies less than 6 months old and for sale. All dogs live in the home with an attached garage. The kennel covers 44 of the 47.25-acre property.

Supervisors postponed action on the request after neighbors voiced concerns about the kennel at the public hearing on the permit held in June.

Gibson and his neighbors came to an agreement earlier this month pertaining to the outside exercise area. Gibson has agreed to not expand the exercise area, Planning Director Taryn Logan told the board.

Gibson said he has 26 dogs, some from an older litter he has not yet sold. Logan pointed out that the zoning ordinance allows Gibson to keep up to 25 but he isn’t asking for the maximum.

Conditions with the permit include:

• A limit of 20 adult dogs six months of age or older.

• No breeding until the number of dogs complies with the first condition; breeding limited to Great Danes.

• Existing landscape buffer remain in place and screening to the western property line using a 6-foot fence.

• Applicant shall install window air-conditioning units in the garage prior to issuing certificate of zoning and safe and adequate heating system within six months of permit approval

• Waiver on the property line setback shall be granted due to the existing house being located 80 feet within the 100-foot setback and due to the animal exercise area located within 160 feet of the adjacent buildings

• All animal waste related to the kennel shall be disposed of properly by double-bagging, placed in an approved solid waste container and removal by professional waste management company twice a month

• Dog licenses shall be issued and rabies shots given for canines over four months of age

• The exercise area shall not be expanded any closer to the west or south property lines

The county approved a permit in February 2012 to Leslie Bremigan to breed Yorkshire terriers. The permit limited the number and breed of dogs to 10 Yorkshire Terriers. Bremigan moved from the property in September 2012. Logan told the board Bremigan had the same waiver.

Also at the meeting, supervisors:

• Approved a request for a conditional-use permit from Samuel and Sally Adams to use 1.52 acres off Farms Riverview Road for private, non-commercial camping. No one spoke during the public hearing held on the permit.

• Approved a change to the by-laws of the Front Royal-Warren County Airport Commission to increase the minimum number of members from six to seven.

• Adopted a resolution requesting the addition of a 0.16-mile-section of Waterhouse Lane into the Virginia Department of Transportation’s secondary road system.

• Awarded a contract to Kanawha Stone Company Inc. for the completion of stormwater management stabilization of the Dominion lay-down area at the Front Royal Golf Club site as included in the invitation to bid and attachments dated April 14, 2017, at a price of $372,000.

• Approved a request to change the name on a previously issued conditional-use permit to Fishnet Ministries Church.