Proposed kennel to bring Mapleton’s count to 14

MAPLETON – Council has received a rezoning application for a proposed commercial kennel that, according to chief building officer Patty Wright, if approved, would bring the township kennel count to 14.

Maryborough residents Darren and Stephanie Huber came to council on Nov. 12 to ask that their one-acre property, currently zoned for agricultural use, be rezoned to permit a dog kennel.

The proposed kennel would be housed on the ground floor of an existing accessory structure measuring 188.6 square meters.

According to Wright, there are currently 11 licensed kennels operating in Mapleton and a further two with zoning approval but still in the licensing process.

“We have had a lot of kennel applications in the last while; is this an issue? Should there be a cap on the number we have within the township?” asked councillor Marlene Ottens.

“We did look into the idea of caps. I couldn’t find any other municipalities that are capping the numbers,” said Wright.

She recommended council develop a bylaw if they wanted to restrict the number of kennels moving forward.

However, senior Wellington County planner Michelle Innocente told council planning staff had  no issues with the application.

“One thing that is somewhat unique that may come up is that the property itself is perhaps typically a little smaller than we have seen in the past,” she said.

Innocente also noted there is no minimum lot size outlined in the  kennel licensing bylaw.

“We both grew up on a farm, my wife and I, and it’s always been a dream of ours,” said Darren Huber.

“It’s something that our children can … do in caring for animals. And that is why we are proposing to raise a few dogs on this property.”

The Hubers plan to start with five adult breeding dogs and one retired dog.

The kennel bylaw has a limitation of 25 breeding dogs and three retired dogs.

Councillor Michael Martin asked the Hubers about the full use of the accessory building.

“In 2015 or 2016, somewhere back in there, I believe you guys were here for a minor variance for this accessory structure. I’m assuming now you can go down on the main floor you’re not really having it as a general meeting space up top,” said Martin. “So some of my concerns in the past have been about these oversized accessory structures we allow and then the use changes after the fact.”

Darren Huber confirmed that initially the couple had planned to use the accessory building as a youth group meeting place.

“We’re still a few years away from that. Currently the upstairs has turned into more of a storage area and things that we just need to get posted and sold and I don’t know when that will happen,” said Darren.

Council voted to receive the zoning application with only Martin opposed.