Despite facing opposition from some Silver Creek residents, a low-impact permit for a dog and cat boarding facility proposed at the existing Mountain Horse Small Animal Clinic received a positive recommendation from Snyderville Basin Planning Commission staff last Tuesday.
The boarding facility would house up to 60 animals at one time and would be operated by Dr. Carl Prior of the Park City Animal Clinic, who is the new owner of the property. An equine surgery center would also be added, and that use is already approved.
Although the low-impact permit received a positive recommendation from the Planning Commission, it will need final approval by Community Development Director Pat Putt.
Silver Creek residents such as Peter Player said they think the boarding facility will increase noise and odors around the area and could negatively impact Service Area 3's primary water well.
Prior responded to Player's comment that a glass partition separating the cats and dogs housed at the facility would encourage dogs to bark.
"It would be a one-way glass partition. Cats would only see the dogs, not the other way around," Prior said, adding that the glass partition would not encourage barking.
Robert Olson, Chairman for the Service Area 3 Board of Trustees, previously said that the district's main well is only 600 feet from the site and is unsure whether the septic system would be adequate enough to handle washing down animal waste. He said the ground water would take effluent materials towards the well.
Prior again pointed to the presence of dogs at the facility as a non-issue.
"I find it interesting they'd be okay with me having 30 horses each producing up to 35 pounds of waste and six to eight gallons of urine a day. One horse is providing the same waste as 20 to 30 dogs," Prior said.
In a letter to the Summit County Council and the Planning Commission, Service Area 3 stated that they have four major areas of concern with the low-impact permit for the boarding facility:
"Noticing and request for input was not made to SA#3 in compliance with customary standards."
"The issues relating to our culinary water system, private wells and springs have not been addressed nor studied."
"Significant changes are proposed to the original 2005 [Conditional Use Permit]."
The Summit County Development Code requirements for a [Low-Impact Permit] have not been met."
Prior again emphasized the minimal noise the boarding facility will produce, which Service Area 3 said was one of the requirements that was not being met for the low-impact permit.
"Dog boarding facilities aren't the same as they used to be. [The dogs] are playing, they have rest time and there is staff there with them," Prior said. "The dogs are interacting; they're much calmer and relaxed and not barking at each other in an excessive manner."
In regard to Service Area 3 being properly noticed about the low-impact permit by the county, the Planning Commission's staff report states, "Staff provided the application information to Service Area 3 and did not receive a recommendation or conditions of approval."
In its letter, however, Service Area 3 said it received an email from planning staff on Oct. 2, 2013, and was asked to submit input by Oct. 11. They wrote that the proposal was not properly noticed and the planning staff's actions were not "prudent."
Prior stated that a pet boarding facility such as this is "really needed in the community" and said that he has a lot of clients who take their pets to Salt Lake, Heber City or Kamas, since there are not enough adequate facilities in the Park City area.
For more information on the low-impact permit for the pet boarding facility, contact Summit County planner Jennifer Strader at 435-615-3152 or at firstname.lastname@example.org or Community Development Director Pat Putt at 435-615-3158 or at email@example.com.