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Woolwich reconsiders, then defers kennel decision

No. Yes. Maybe.

Presented with new information Tuesday night, Woolwich councillors wavered from last week’s vote against a kennel application near Maryhill, first appearing in favour before deferring the issue for another day.

It’s a turn of events for applicant Robert Varga, who made a more-detailed presentation to council April 1. He’s seeking a licence for a 50-dog boarding kennel at 1183 Bietz Rd.

With noise issues the largest stumbling block in the previous week’s decision, Varga showed photos and video of the location of the proposed kennel on his farm property, noting the site is well-removed from neighbouring properties. Likewise, it’s surrounded by forest, with a hill acting as a buffer between the location and nearby Maryhill.

There’s already a berm between his property and the neighbouring Bridgeport Rod & Gun Club, he added.

“Sound is being blocked on all sides from going anywhere.”

Varga said the kennel building itself would be constructed with twice the required insulation levels, bringing them up to residential standards, so noise from inside the facility would not carry very far.

For Coun. Mark Bauman, the noise issue requires measurable standards, not simply the subjective impressions of neighbours. He suggested the applicant carry out an acoustical study to determine what impact the operation might have. Then, after limiting the number of dogs to 25 for, say, two years, the operator would carrying out another acoustical study to see if increasing the capacity is warranted.

Coun. Julie-Anne Herteis also liked the idea of limiting the capacity to 25 dogs, with a review after a year to determine if there had been any problems.

As it stands right now, Woolwich’s kennel bylaw has no provisions to cover noise, addressing only the care given to the animals there, noted township clerk Christine Broughton.

“There’s nothing in the bylaw related to noise from the kennel,” she said.

While councillors deliberated some kind of graduated licence for the operation, they ultimately decided they needed more information. Broughton was instructed to prepare another report looking at quantifiable noise levels in the bylaw, costs and other noise-attenuation measures, with council to review Varga’s application at a later date.

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