Kennels are fairly common on-farm businesses in Wellesley Township, which is home to 21 such operations, but running a kennel supply store is another matter, one requiring special permission from council.
Meeting Tuesday night, township councillors gave the nod to the zoning change needed to allow that kind of operation on a farm at 4340 Lichty Rd.
The property owners requested the change to diversify the kennel business, planning to repurpose an existing building for the sale of items related to the operation of a kennel, such as supplements, cleaning supplies, grooming supplies and dog toys.
Following a public meeting, council voted to approve the necessary change to the zoning bylaw. The property is zoned as “agricultural” which would ordinarily not allow such a business to be operated there, however the amendment makes a site-specific exception so the business can move forward.
Coun. Shelley Wagner raised concerns about other kennels buying products from the new business and then selling them within their kennels.
Director of planning Geoff VanderBaaren noted that was a valid concern, pointing out that the township bylaw already prohibits the sale of such items at kennel operations, with the new exception of the Lichty Road property. Any kennel operator found to be reselling items would be dealt with by the township’s bylaw enforcement department.
He added that kennel operators skirting the rules could already purchase retail items elsewhere, noting a kennel store in the township could encourage businesses to work together.
VanderBaaren’s report noted this type of operating is said to fall in line with other on-farm businesses such as produce stands, art studios or workshops. Because the new business will be restricted to selling to other kennels, there is no problem with allowing the zone change to move forward, he argued.
Though now approved, there has been no date set for opening the business.