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Plan Commission Minutes
Mar 15, 2016
PDF Version: 48570_2016-Mar-15_Plan Commission Minutes.pdf

 Town of Oregon  

Planning Commission Meeting Minutes  
Tuesday, March 15, 2016

1. Open Public Hearing:
Town of Oregon Plan Commission Chairman Duffin called the public hearing to order on Tuesday, March 15, 2016 at 6:40 p.m.

Members present:  Paul Morrison, Tom Wiedenbeck, Dave Hagemann, Brian Duffin, and Sharon Christensen.  

Members absent:  Andy Blomstrom and Arlen Kay.

Also present:  Town Board Chairman Wayne Ace, Town Board Supervisors Steve Root and Treasurer/Deputy Clerk Jennifer Hanson.  Seventeen (17) people signed attendance sheet.  

a. Land Division and Amendment of Conditional Use Permit.  Petition # DCPCUP-2016-02335; Parcel #0509-091-8600-1; 1350 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., Oregon, WI  53575.  The request is amend the conditional use permit to include outdoor kennels and canine daycare.  Petitioner and Owner is County View Enterprises LLC., 1350 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., Oregon, WI  53575. 

Emily Leuthner, 116 Peerless Rd., New Glarus, appeared to discuss Country View Veterinary Clinic’s request to amend their conditional use permit (CUP).  Emily started with a history of the clinic.  

The clinic was opened in 1999 and the current building was completed in 2001.  Emily joined the practice in 2004 and started managing the clinic in 2007.  She no longer practices in the field due to injuries.  At the request of their clients, the clinic started offering dog day boarding in 2009.  The day boarding dogs are limited to eighteen (18) dogs per day.  Emily said they are first and foremost a veterinary practice and they have additional services as a convenience for their clients.  Emily is willing to give anyone a tour of the clinic.  The day boarding dogs are currently upstairs and the exam rooms are below.  The dogs are supervised in an outside fenced yard when the weather is nice.  There is a small fenced yard on the north side of the building and another larger fenced yard across the driveway.  The clinic has no intention to add or change any services.  

Emily’s business partner, Judy Batker will be moving the large animal component to a new building next door.  The move will allow them to repurpose the large animal clinic space into a suitable dog day boarding area.  The current setup is a little makeshift.  This change will also allow them to have small groups of dogs in different places.  The outside exercise yard will be moved and attached to the back of the building with enclosed fencing.  The new exercise yard will be a more secure, private and quiet location.  There will be no outdoor kennels, Emily feels this is a misnomer in the letters received.  She would never feel comfortable leaving a client’s animal outside overnight.  There will be outdoor exercise yards for dogs to play and go to the bathroom.  The clinic is not staffed overnight.  The dogs are never outside in bad weather and are always supervised.  

The clinic offers obedience classes on Saturday mornings and Monday and Wednesday evenings.  They have a master dog trainer on staff.  The classes are held indoors or outdoors depending on the weather.  The classes are limited to eight (8) dogs that are one on one with a trainer.  

Emily stated that the clinic is not changing anything other than moving the outside play yard from the north to the south side of the building.  One of the advantages of having a fenced play yard attached to the building is that there will be less barking.  Currently the dogs get excited when they are walked to the outdoor play yard.  The new outdoor play yard will allow the caretaker to open the door and let all the dogs go out at the same time.  This will create a safer and more suitable area for the dogs.  These are the same services offered by the clinic for years.  

Duffin asked Emily for the number of animals at the small clinic.  Emily said the day boarding dogs are capped at eighteen (18) dogs.  The number of patients vary each day.  The clinic hospitalizes very few patients overnight.  Aside from the dogs that are boarding, they rarely have animals overnight.  The day boarding dogs are at the clinic for the day and the boarding dogs are there overnight while the owners are away.  There is a dedicated cat boarding area for eight (8) cats.  Cat boarding is not very popular.  The day boarding dogs are in and out all day depending on the weather.  Emily clarified that they are not planning to change or expand services, but they just want to repurpose the area left vacant when the large animal clinic moves to a new building.  

Emily said they have six (6) runs for boarding and are booked out for months.  They would like to add an additional ten (10) to twelve (12) dog runs for boarding in a space that is currently used to park two Honda Pilots.  The current six (6) runs will then be used for sick dogs only.  This would not increase the number of dogs, but would create a physical separation between sick and healthy animals.  

Duffin clarified the number of animals.  The total number of cats will not change.  Duffin asked Emily for the total number of dogs including doggie daycare and boarding combined.  Emily said the number of dogs at daycare will not change from eighteen (18) dogs.  The boarding kennel dogs will expand from six (6) to ten (10) or twelve (12) dogs.  Emily said it would be around thirty (30) dogs plus or minus patients and cats.  Duffin discussed the maximum number of animals being fifty (50), but it would most likely stay around thirty (30).  Emily prides the clinic on being small and providing caring, focused attention to their patients.  Their intention is not to grow, but to stay a manageable size.  The traffic should not change.    

Jim Weber, 1276 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., asked if boarding was included in the original CUP when the clinic was first opened and if there was a limit on the number of dogs.  Emily said the only change from the original conditions was the addition of the day boarding and there were no limits on the number of dogs.  Jim asked if the boarding was for sick animals or healthy animals.  Emily said the CUP doesn’t specify.  Duffin said there were four original conditions and no specific number of dogs, but the plan commission is willing to put a limit on the number of dogs.  

Ginny Owens, 1267 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., is concerned about the noise and the loss of property value being next door to a dog kennel.  She asked what the Town of Oregon noise ordinance states.  Duffin read the town noise ordinance.  Duffin said that barking dogs could be considered a nuisance if the dogs were allowed to bark on a continual basis, all the time.  Ginny said that last summer they were working in their garden across the street from the clinic and the dogs barked for over an hour causing them to leave.  There have been times at night that the barking dogs have been very loud.  Emily said that the animals are indoors and not allowed outside overnight.  The boarding kennel area is cinder block and there are no open windows.        

Dan Piorier, 1335 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., still confused about the number of dogs.  Emily said that currently there are eighteen (18) day boarding dogs, six (6) long-term boarding dog runs plus small cages that are not utilized very often, the number of patients they have vary day to day, and they rarely house sick animals overnight because they don’t have staff overnight.  The number is fluid.  Emily stated that all the canine convenience services they offer is only 8% of the practice.  This is a very small part of their business and the clinic is first and foremost a veterinary clinic.  Dan asked the number of dogs housed overnight.  Emily said zero (0) to one (1) hospitalized patients overnight and up to twelve (12) dogs in long-term kennels overnight.  Dan’s main concern is the noise and barking that he can hear at his property.  He asked if the clinic is addressing the noise with sound blankets or barriers.  Emily plans to install a stockade fence and plantings so the dogs won’t see the coming and going of vehicles and people causing them to bark.  Emily said that moving the play yard to the south side of the clinic and attaching it to the building will reduce the noise and diminish the stimulation.   Emily plans to insulate the indoor day boarding area to dampen any barking that will occur.  Emily is really just moving the day boarding area from one end of the building to the other and to continue operating the same way they have for years.  Emily would have addressed any noise concerns earlier if they would have been brought to her attention.  Country View is a big part of the community and wants to work with the community.  They are trying to make it official since they have an opportunity relocate within their building.

Sue Weber, 1276 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., asked why they need to increase their business if boarding is such a minimal part of their business.  Emily said that they are turning people away all the time with only six (6) runs.  Many clients feel comfortable with the care of their animals because of the good working relationships and that they know the animals.  Many veterinary clinic offer these services.  Sue asked if the runs were being moved closer to their residential location.  Emily said the six (6) runs are inside the building.  The south end where they park their vehicles is where they will move the healthy animal runs.  The only thing that has limited them and caused them to turn people away is space. Since the large animal is moving, this will allow them to meet the needs of their clients.  Sue said not a day that goes by that they don’t hear dogs barking.  Sue is not comfortable with increasing the number of dogs.  Sue is concerned if there is a change in ownership someone else could run the clinic poorly.  The small animal clinic only takes call until 10:00 p.m. and the large animal clinic takes calls 24/7.  Emily asked Sue if there was a problem with the dogs kept inside or outside because there is a difference.  Sue may feel differently if all the dogs were kept inside.  Sue discussed the electrical poles along Fish Hatchery Road and upset that there are still two sets of poles.  

Jim Weber discussed the electric poles.
Ginny Owens asked about the number of dogs and time of operation.  Emily clarified that they are not doing anything different than what they have been doing for years.  

Mark Owens, 1267 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., asked why there is a meeting tonight if nothing is changing.  Emily said that a change in conditional use permit is a spinoff of dividing their property to create a large animal clinic.  He doesn’t object to the second clinic, but the problem is allowing fifty (50) barking dogs.

Ginny Owens discussed that property values will decrease 5 to 10% due to a dog kennel.  Emily said they are not changing what they are doing.  Emily said they already have two outdoor play yards, so there are no changes other than moving the play yard to the back of the clinic.  Emily said the barking will be less because staff will no longer have to walk the dogs across the yard to the exercise area.  Ginny Owens asked if there could be a clause put in to protect them if the barking became a problem in the future.

Morrison clarified that the clinic has an outdoor area and they are moving it adjacent to the building.  The clinic is not concerned about count of animals changing, but the reality is that they could have forty (40) animals on-site.  Morrison said that right now they have no restrictions on animals or hours in the existing conditional use permit.  Emily said they are not adding any additional services.  Morrison said he didn’t know if they needed to have this hearing other than the fact that when discussing splitting the parcel questions came up that they wanted to nail this down.  Morrison feels all this will help address the concerns by getting the area adjacent to the building and putting caps on animal counts that are comparable to what is happening.  Duffin said what they are trying to do is update the CUP since Emily is investing some money into the business.  Duffin said there are no caps and they could have one hundred dogs.  Jim said that a CUP is open ended and can be reviewed if there is a nuisance.  Morrison said Emily is trying to do what she can to minimize the noise complaints.  Duffin asked Jim if he should cancel the meeting and leave the CUP as it exists because they are not coming to any consensus.  Morrison stated that they probably legally didn’t have to have the hearing tonight because they have the authority to have the animals without putting caps or hours, but it is good to have the discussion so Emily is aware of the concerns.   

Dan Piorier said the main concern is noise.  Emily is not familiar with sound blankets or barriers.  Dan would like assurance that they would look into sound proofing.  Emily looked at the conditional uses for Forest Ridge Kennels in the Town of Dunn.  That kennel has ninety (90) dogs indoor and outdoor.  Those conditions have a stockade fencing and plantings.  Emily said that is important to her to have a building that looks as beautiful as possible, but still be a functional clinic.  Emily said this would provide for a much more organized system and be safer. 

Kari Schmiligan, 1335 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., asked if the clinic would be having runs for the dogs to go outside when they wanted.  Emily said the dogs will not have their own access door to go outside.  There is always a person supervising the dogs outside.    

Duffin toured a couple different doggie daycares and discussed noise control.  Duffin doesn’t want to pass a CUP giving Emily the green light to invest money and then telling her six months later that she isn’t able to do it anymore.  Duffin said that what may need to happen down the road is to try different sound barriers if noise becomes a problem.  He also said that because there haven’t been any complaints to date, there is room to make adjustments to the CUP.  

Sam Monroe, 1347 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., asked if the play area would be sheltered.  A map of the property was discussed.

There was discussion about the notice reading outdoor kenneling of dogs.  The clarification was that the dogs wouldn’t be housed outside overnight, but the dogs would have access to an outdoor exercise yards.

Mike Leuther, 116 Peerless Rd., New Glarus, sees that noise is the reason everyone is here.  The CUP compromise could be set so the total number of animals inside is fifty (50) animals and to allow only twenty (20) animals outside at a time.  The noise is not coming from the dogs inside the building, but from the dogs outside exercising.  With proper rotation, allowing twenty (20) dogs outside can be monitored by the neighborhood.  If they are going to build the inside runs, they would like to have them filled.  Duffin agreed this would be a good resolution.

Ginny asked if there could be something put in so a new owner would have to follow the same rules.  Morrison said that a CUP follows the ownership and a new owner would have to start the process all over.  Duffin said that the CUP would expire if no boarding took place for a year.

Sam Monroe said the horses get lose and are in his garage.  He has to bring the horses back to the clinic when no one is there.  He can hear the barking dogs at night.  Emily said that the driveway behind the building will be closed off because that space will be the new outdoor fenced play area.

Sue Weber said there could potentially be barking all day if twenty (20) dogs are continuously rotated outside.

Emily said the existing dog play yard will be on the large animal clinic property and would no longer be used by the small clinic.

Raffi Mesdjian, 5546 County Road CC, said that his wife hears the dogs barking at night but he doesn’t hear them.  He asked how this will affect the property values.  He said that the clinic is growing.  Duffin said that the reason to be here tonight was to put caps on the number of dogs to protect property values.  Emily indicated that she is not wanting to expand the business.  Duffin said that fifty (50) animals would include all animals, such as dogs, cats, parrots and a realistic number of dogs maybe thirty (30).  Duffin said the reason for amending the CUP is to protect both the business and the homeowners.

Ginny asked how Duffin would feel about the kennel being across the street from him.  Duffin said that all the members look at the issues through everyone’s eyes.  Morrison said the existing CUP is limitless and there is not a technical reason to have the meeting because the number of dogs are limitless and hours of operation are not defined.  However this is a good meeting to have to limit the number of dogs.  Duffin asked last month for the meeting to be held tonight because he was unclear of Emily’s intention and needed to have things clarified.  He read information from Dane County on the kennel.  

Jim Weber discussed the commercial corridor of Fish Hatchery and County Highway CC.  Duffin said that the town has restricted this area to agricultural based businesses.  Duffin said that the veterinary clinic is a good fit for the township and provide a great service.  Duffin said that there will be another effort made to address the utility poles.  

The hearing next week at Dane County will address both the land division for the large animal clinic and the CUP.  Emily confirmed that the CUP will include both the large and small animal clinic because the property is not yet separated. 

Duffin asked Emily to clarify the hours of operation.  Emily said the formal business hours are 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday thru Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.  The animals need to go to the bathroom starting at 6:30 a.m. and again at 8:00 p.m.  They have a high school student that comes in to let the dogs out and clean up before the clinic opens.  The animal obedience trainings and outdoor exercise hours are from 7:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.  Classes are also offered on Monday and Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings.  Emergency hours are until 10:00 p.m.  On Sundays the boarding dogs are let out starting at 6:30 a.m.

Duffin read the following conditions:
1. All outdoor lighting will be directed downward to the ground.
2. A county approved manure management will be followed. (Emily said this is for the large animal clinic.)
3. Uses shall be restricted to a veterinary hospital, dog and cat boarding kennels, grooming, canine daycare and training facilities. 
4. The numbers of dog and cats kept for kenneling and/or day care purposes shall be no more than fifty (50) animals.  No large animals; horses, cows, llamas, etc. shall be permitted.  (Emily said this is for the small animal clinic.)  No animals will be outside after normal clinic operating hours.
5. The boarding kennel will be an indoor facility.  There will be outdoor runs on the north and south sides of the building.  Boarding dogs will be outside for short periods of time between 6:30 a.m. and 8:00 p.m.  The outdoor runs will be within a six (6) foot high enclosed fence.
6. A canine daycare will be indoors and outdoors with dogs contained within a six (6) foot high enclosed yard with a stockade fence surrounded by evergreens.  Daycare dogs will be supervised at all times and allowed outside during regular business hours; 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturday.  No more than twenty (20) dogs will be outside at any one given time.
7. The outdoor training area and outdoor exercise area shall be located on the southeast side of the property.  Training classes will be held indoors and outdoors weather permitting with a class size limited to twelve (12) dogs.  Training and exercise hours will be from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
8. Regular clinic hours shall be from 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday and 7:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays.  Emergency hours until 10:00 p.m. on an as needed basis.
9. Outside loudspeakers are prohibited on the property.
10. One free standing sign and one wall sign will be allowed for the small animal clinic.

Emily is not planning on changing anything that has been happening for years.  Ginny asked if anything can be done if the noise becomes a problem in the future.  Brian said that the complaint could be made at the clerk’s office and the plan commission would bring Country View Vet clinic into a meeting to discuss.  Brian said that the town doesn’t want to force them out of business, but would try to limit the noise.  Brian appreciated everyone being here tonight.  Brian didn’t want the public to be in a situation where there were no caps on the number of animals.

Sue wanted to know what would happen if her property value went down.  Jim wanted to know what would happen if the noise becomes unlivable down the road.  Brian believes that the property values would be higher if the cap on the number of dogs were in place.  Morrison said that if the barking becomes a problem down the road then the town can review the conditions.

There was discussion on the location of the new large animal clinic.                   

2. Close Public Hearing.
Duffin closed the public hearing at 8:23 p.m. and went directly into the regular plan commission meeting.

3. Call Plan Commission meeting to order.
Chairman Brian Duffin called the Planning Commission Regular Meeting to order.

4. Discussion and possible Recommendation to the Town Board:

a. Land Division and Amendment of Conditional Use Permit.  Petition # DCPCUP-2016-02335; Parcel #0509-091-8600-1; 1350 S. Fish Hatchery Rd., Oregon, WI  53575.  
No further discussion.  Motion by Hagemann to approve Land Division and Amendment of Conditional Use Permit; Petition # DCPCUP-2016-02335 with the conditional uses specified by Chair Duffin. Seconded by Christensen.  Motion carried 5-0.

5. Approval of minutes from the last meeting.
Motion by Hagemann to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on February 9, 2016 with the correction of joint driveway permit to read joint driveway agreement.  Seconded by Wiedenbeck.  Motion carried 5-0. 

6. Public Comments.
Rita Kluever, 5848 Madsen Dr., would like to create a five (5) acre parcel on her property.  Duffin suggested to come back when the density study is completed and indicating the location of the driveway.  She is making the land five (5) acres to allow for animals, but doesn’t have a specific buyer.    

7. Discussion and possible Action re: Withdrawing from Dane County Zoning.
Duffin mentioned that Mark Hazelbaker will be here in May to discuss withdrawing from Dane County Zoning.  Brian Standing and Roger Lane will be here in June to discuss this new legislation.  The county is revising the comprehensive zoning law. 

8. Discussion and possible Action re: TORC procedures.
No discussion on TORC procedures.

9. Update on Anderson Park.
Root mentioned that they are collecting maple syrup.  Also, vehicles are doing doughnuts in the park.

10. Communications.
No communications. 

11. Adjournment.
Motion by Duffin to adjourn the meeting at 8:48 p.m.  Seconded by Hagemann.  Motion carried 5-0. 
Respectfully submitted, 

Jennifer Hanson

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