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Noise concerns see Woolwich deny bid for Maryhill-area kennel

Worried about the potential noise, Woolwich council this week turned down a request for a boarding kennel near Maryhill.

The decision sided with a staff recommendation against plans for a 50-dog boarding kennel at 1183 Bietz Rd. The site’s proximity to the Bridgeport Rod & Gun Club, a kennel across the road and another operating on nearby Hopewell Creek Road raised the possibility of more noise complaints in an area that already has its share, councillors decided.

Speaking at Tuesday night’s committee-of-the-whole meeting, applicant Robert Varga agreed noise would likely be the biggest issue. He argued, however, that there’s already more racket from the gun club and nearby baseball diamonds, which he called the largest source of noise.

A pair of other issues raised in a report by clerk Christine Broughton – part of the property being in the floodplain, and concerns about staffing numbers – were addressed by Varga. On the former, he said an inspection by the Grand River Conservation Authority revealed no concerns. As for staffing, while the current business plan does not include hiring staff, how much help he’ll need will depend on demand.

“If we do need help, we’ll hire either family or other employees,” he said.

Responding to a question from Coun. Bonnie Bryant, Varga said he’s had no formal training as a dog handler, but has some experience from helping out his neighbour, who operates a kennel.

He noted that two other busy kennels in the area are an indication there’s a demand, adding the location is ideal, being central to Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge and Guelph.

“It is a good area to build.”

His argument resonated only with Coun. Allan Poffenroth, the lone vote in favour of Varga’s application.

Poffenroth pointed out that there are already other noisy operations in the vicinity.

Broughton responded that the kennel could contribute to the cumulative noise, perhaps drawing even more complaints from neighbours.

Bryant, who represents the ward, said she hears the complaints, noting that noise from the gun club carries into the village of Maryhill.

With a formal decision to be voted on at next week’s council meeting, Varga was advised he could return with a new plan that addresses the noise concerns in order to ask councillors to reconsider.

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