Independence denies permit for pet dog kennel

Peterson to ‘re-home’ six Welsh Corgis by Sept. 1 

IndependenceCityHallDeborah Peterson’s four-month quest to keep her nine Welsh Corgi dogs in a private kennel ended Tuesday, Dec. 17, when the Independence City Council denied her application for the required conditional use permit.

She now must get the number of dogs housed on her property at 2810 Nelson Road to three (the maximum allowed by city ordinance) or fewer by Sept. 1, 2014.

Her quest to keep all her dogs began on Aug. 8, after a neighbor complained to police about excessive barking. Police told her to get licenses for the dogs. She applied for a conditional use permit allowing her to have a kennel for pet dogs. Under this type of permit, dogs cannot be sold commercially. The Planning Commission recommended denial of her request, and Peterson worked with City Planner Mark Kaltsas to come up with a plan to mitigate the barking problem. The City Council looked at the plan and referred the issue back to the Planning Commission.

Neighbors came to the Planning Commission meeting to say that the situation had improved, but Peterson’s measures to mitigate the barking problem were not sufficient. This time around, Peterson asked for an interim use permit, because it would apply only to her. A conditional use permit would apply to subsequent property owners.

Planning Commissioners again recommended denial of the private kennel.

Peterson’s last hope was City Council approval. She told councilors that she was using electronic collars on her worst barkers, and she could put these collars on her intermittent barkers. Her worst barker quickly learned that he would get an electric shock if he barked.

She planned to place a fence around the kennel to keep dogs away from the fence surrounding her 9.78-acre property. She also was investigating costs for insulating the kennel to cut down on the sound level.

Peterson said her goal was to get the number of dogs down to the number appropriate for her property. However, she wanted to keep them as long as they live or until they are “re-homed.” One dog already has a new home. Another dog is a rescue canine, who eventually will be re-homed.

City Councilor Brad Fisher said, “This has gone on for too long. The neighbors have made it clear that this is not a good situation.” Although the situation had improved, it still was “unacceptable.”

The council discussed a time limit and said Peterson must comply with the ordinance by Sept. 1.

The City Council also took up other business.

RECYCLING CONTRACT

Councilors approved a seven-year recycling contract with Randy’s Environmental Services. A representative of Randy’s said the contract calls for single-sort recycling. Customers can throw all types of recyclables into one cart that can be wheeled to the curb. He expected to see a dramatic increase in recycling in Independence because it will be more convenient. People who have not recycled before are likely to begin.

City Administrator Toni Hirsch said Randy’s is Independence’s recycling contractor for 2013. The company was the lowest bidder on the future contract.

ANTENNA PERMIT

The City Council approved a request from Verizon Wireless and Delano United Methodist Church for a conditional use permit allowing new antennas on an existing telecommunications tower located on church property at 3310 County Line Road. The council also approved a variance for an accessory structure to a telecommunications tower that exceeds 300 square feet. The accessory structure will house equipment related to the new antennas.

LORETTO SANITARY SEWER CONNECTION

Planner Kaltsas reported on a meeting of Independence city staff with representatives to the Metropolitan Council. The topic was several sanitary sewer upgrade projects that would affect Independence. The Met Council is looking at taking Loretto’s sanitary sewer system and redirecting wastewater into a regional treatment system.

Kaltsas said the Met Council is discussing two alternate routes for redirecting Loretto’s waste water. One would go northeast through Corcoran to Maple Grove.

The preferred option seems to be going south through Medina to Maple Plain. Loretto would connect its wastewater system to the force main along County Road 19. The Met Council would take over maintenance and management of the lift station in Medina and the County Road 19 force main. The Maple Plain regional lift station would be upgraded or replaced and a second force main would be added to facilitate additional capacity. Eventually the Medina lift station would be replaced.

Kaltsas said the route to Maple Plain would have advantages for Independence, including availability of more sanitary sewer hookups.

OTHER

The City Council also:

APPROVED Independence’s application to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for a Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System permit for 2013-2018.

APPROVED a minor subdivision to allow a lot line rearrangement that would combine a portion of the property at 755 Kuntz Drive with property at 7914 County Road 6. Eldon and Mary Sassen own the Kuntz Drive parcel, and Michael Flannigan owns the County Road 6 property.

Contact Susan Van Cleaf at susan.vancleaf@ecm-inc.com

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