A potential new animal day care facility in Genoa Township has won approval from the Planning Commission. Paula Vanderkarr was back before the Commission Tuesday night for a special use permit review and site plan recommendation for Dog Town and Kitty City Day Care. Vanderkarr said she will have capacity for 63 animals, but expects the daily average to be around 40. Aside from day-boarding, she hopes to offer overnight boarding, obedience training, and therapy training. Her facility would be located the at former Knights of Columbus banquet hall in Genoa Township.

Several residents spoke at the September Planning Commission meeting about pet waste and noise, causing the special use permit discussion to be temporarily tabled. Since that September meeting, Vanderkarr had a sound engineer do a study on noise levels and give a presentation to the Planning Commission, Tuesday. At peak levels, with the planned vinyl wall in place to screen, the noise generated was conservatively estimated to be at 57 decibels, well below the 80 decibel limit allowed by ordinance.

Planning Commission Chairman Doug Brown said the information presented changed his mind. Brown said coming in, he was probably going to vote “no” but after the analysis, he was convinced that the sound would “be a part of the ambient noise and shouldn’t be significant.” Vanderkarr said barking dogs will be taken inside right away, and all dogs will be indoors after 7pm.

Neighboring residents spoke again at this meeting, one wishing to have their own hired engineer do a study. Brown said he was all for more information, but was also mindful of putting the applicant through delay after delay. The resident, admittedly not knowing how long it would take to get the study done, was supported in her effort to try, but was told she’d have to present it to the Board of Trustees. That’s because the Planning Commission approved the special use permit application, environmental impact study, and made a recommendation to approve the site plan to the Board. The Board’s final decisions are expected to be on the December 3rd agenda.(MK)