Dog day care gets second look

A proposal to add indoor dog day care, grooming and other services to a Skaha Lake business has received a second chance from Penticton council after some adjustments.

A proposal to add indoor dog day care, grooming and other services to a Skaha Lake business has received a second chance from Penticton council after some adjustments.

Last December, Okanagan K9 owner Zeina Elgazzar had tried to expand her dog product shop at 3693 Skaha Lake Rd. to make it capable of hosting up to 10 to 12 pets at a time.

The plan was to offer both grooming and day care services, where clients could leave pets, sometimes overnight, in a 24-hour-staffed cage-free environment with various activities to keep them busy. The building would be lined with soundproof walls and metal-clad doors, and animals would never be outdoors, except when taken on walks to nearby parks or the channel pathway.

“Research has found that this type of use appears to be growing and it could have a benefit to the tourist community,” reported planning technologist Darryl Haddrell.

Opponents to the proposal turned up at a public hearing expressing concerns regarding noise, dog droppings left in the park and the negative affect the business might have on property values in the neighbourhood. The opposition prompted council to request Elgazzar to revise her plan.

This time, the city’s manager of planning Anthony Haddad told council, Elgazzar proposed to limit the business to up to 10 dogs while adding a “multi-service canine centre” including daycare, grooming, alternative therapy and indoor training classes to the list of permitted uses at the site.

Haddad said the 10-dog limit is a direct response to the issues raised by Okanagan K9’s neighbours.

“The issue of noise has been addressed by having the dog supervised at all times,” Haddad told council. “Dogs walking in the park was also an issue. The applicant has advised that the dogs will always be on leash when off property and will always be cleaned up after.”

Haddad noted the existing city zoning for the site already allows for commercial uses, making it an “appropriate location” for such a business.

“Staff consider the restrictions being proposed … are appropriate in response to the issues raised at the previous public hearing,” he concluded.

Residents will get a chance to share their input on the new proposal at a public hearing July 4 and again July 18 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.

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