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Smithfield planning commission: 5-dog kennel OK if owner moves it

November 18th, 2010 Posted in Opinion

By Elizabeth Grewe

SMITHFIELD—Wednesday’s Planning Commission meeting went to the dogs, literally. Emilia Mendoza requested a conditional use permit for a kennel for her five dogs. Mendoza’s property, located at 249 E. 200 South, has a kennel now but it is built in the wrong place, according to the animal ordinance.

Charlene Izatt, deputy recorder, advised the commission that they were discussing this because, “I can approve up to four dogs, any more comes to you for approval.”

The commission gave two neighbors the opportunity to speak on the matter. David Taylor, who lives half a block from Mendoza’s property, had concerns with the barking.

“You can’t have a nice lunch without hearing barking. I always think of Smithfield as a nice and peaceful place, but you can’t go out and work in your yard without hearing dogs barking 100 percent of the time. I’m concerned about the noise,” Taylor said.

Aaron Lawyer, another neighbor, said he had two main concerns. First, he worried about the noise factor. Lawyer’s other concern was for the safety of his children.

“My real main concern is what would happen if those dogs get out,” Lawyer said. “I have seen the Mendozas looking for dogs in the past and dogs that can take out a 3-year-old is a threat to me.”

Mendoza said she has three poodles and two shiatzus. She explained that if they bark she brings them inside, and that the kennel that she built this August is secure and made of cement so the dogs won’t escape like in the past.

“Still, five dogs is five dogs. I’m a little concerned,” said Commissioner Michael E Paskett.

After 40 minutes of discussion, Commissioner Rik Vernon said, “I don’t think as long as I have been a commissioner, we haven’t come to some sort of decision.”

The commission expressed concerns that Mendoza couldn’t keep her dogs quiet and inside her property line.

“I do have control over them because I take care of them,” she said. “I love them.”

The commission unanimously agreed to approve the permit for her to have five dogs; however, she will have to move her kennel off the neighbor’s property line, and the commission will review the case in nine months.

The commission also unanimously approved Phase 3 of the final plat for Park Place Subdivision, located at approximately 260 N. 600 West.

The next planning commission meeting will be held Dec. 15 in the City Council chambers at 7 p.m.


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