Supervisors OK dog kennel

FRONT ROYAL – A dog kennel was allowed to continue operations after meeting most requirements in a previously approved conditional use permit.

The Board of Supervisors at its regular Tuesday meeting approved Michael Gibson’s WillowBrooke Danes dog kennel at 387 Ritenour Hollow Road. A conditional use permit was approved for the kennel in August 2017 with a provision that all requirements be met within 60 days. The kennel covers 44 acres of the 47.25-acre property.

“We really feel there is no doubt he loves his dogs,” Planning Director Taryn Logan said.

The conditional use permit requires all dogs be properly licensed and vaccinated; that the kennel be approved by the Building Inspections Office, Health Department, Fire and Rescue, and Animal Control; and be limited to a maximum number of 20 adult dogs six months of age or older.

The only stipulation Gibson did not meet was getting the number of dogs from 36 to 20. He is one over the limit after recently taking in a dog that he previously adopted out, for which the owner could no longer provide care. He is now working on that dog’s adoption, and no breeding can occur until the number of dogs is lowered to 20.

Before passing the conditional use permit, the supervisors removed a requirement that he meet all provisions within 30 days. Logan said the Planning Department and Animal Control would continue monitoring the kennel.

Gibson also worked with Animal Control to get in compliance with other conditions such as cleaning dust and removing items from atop the kennels. Logan said the Planning Department has been especially concerned over such issues since another kennel caught fire.

When the kennel was subject to a public hearing, two adjacent neighbors were opposed. The conditional use permit waived setback requirements allowing the nearest house to be 177 feet from the dogs’ exercise area instead of the required 200 feet. Logan said the neighbors and Gibson have since reached agreeable terms, and he agreed to not make the exercise area any larger. There have not been any more complaints regarding the dogs since.

The supervisors also:

• Re-appointed Bruce Drummond and Dr. Thomas Patterson to the Economic Development Board of Directors. Dan Hotek was re-appointed to the Board of Building Code Appeals. Joe Petty was designated as deputy zoning administrator.

• Approved the $10,530 purchase of distracted driver equipment and software by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office. The purchase will be made using asset forfeiture funds.

• Approved a conditional use permit allowing property owners Ram and Tirtha Paudel to change the name Schoolhouse Market to American Super-Market LLC DBA Rivermont Grocery.

• Approved vacating a 25-foot section of the existing 50-foot wide public easement known as Hokie Lane in the Reliance Woods subdivision.