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Planning header



Hearing Examiner: Mitchell P. Delabarre
Planning Staff: Scott Clark, Director and Hector Torres
Secretary: Sonja Baker


FEBRUARY 12, 2003
12:00 NOON

Mitch Delabarre calls the meeting to order at 12:00 noon. He states that we are here for the Dave Hoover Conditional Use Permit.

Mitch states that he will be starting with the staff report then he will go to Mr. Hoover for his presentation on the permit request and following that he will open the floor for public comments. He asks that the speakers step to the podium and speak into the microphone clearly. He states that is because it is a recorded hearing. After the public hearing portion, Mr. Hover can address any comments or issues that are raised. He states that he may not be giving the decision today. If you want a copy of the decision, indicate that you would like a copy of the written decision and one will be sent to you.

Mitch states that he is an attorney for Jeffers, Danielson, Sonn and Aylward and one of the associate in the firm he is a part of, not in the Moses Lake office is representing Grant County in a pending matter, but that he has no knowledge in the details of that case and is not is not related to anything he will do as a hearing examiner.

Mitch has the audience is sworn in mass. The audience answers in the affirmative.

1. PUBLIC HEARING – Dave Hoover - Conditional Use Permit for the placement of an animal shelter/kennel in the Agriculture Zone of Grant County.

File No. 03-3529
S. 3, T. 24, R. 28
Hector Torres – Project Planner

Hector presents the following from the staff report:

This is a Conditional Use Permit application to place an animal shelter/kennel in the agricultural zone of Grant County. The kennel/shelter will require two structures: a 25’ x 110’ kennel and a 40’ x 50’ storage building.

Proponent and owner of property: Dave Hoover, 544 Twomey Road, Centerville, TN 37033.

Location of Proposal: Approximately a ½ mile South of Coulee City on the East side of Pinto Ridge Road. Located in Section 3, Township 24, Range 28 EWM.

Zoning: Agriculture

Surrounding Zoning: North, South, East and West: Agriculture

Environmental Review: This project is SEPA exempt

Critical Areas Review: Critical areas were reviewed for this project. This site was not found to be located in any critical areas as defined by GCC 24.08

Grant County Heath District:
1. Contact the Health District for information regarding the septic system for the dog kennel.
2. Feces from the kennel must be disposed by burying or in some manner that will not create a nuisance for adjacent property owners.

WA State Department of Health:
1. If this water system meets the definition of a Group B Public Water System per WAC 246-291-010, then the system is subject to the Group B drinking water regulations in WAC chapter 246-291, and water system approval must be obtained from Grant County Health District.

Chapter 23.08 Performance and Use Standards

Section .050 Animal Kennels, Training Schools and Shelters:
(a) Animal Facilities, Clinics, Hospitals, Kennels, Training Schools and Shelters are subject to the following standards:
(1) Animals shall be sheltered in suitable, clean structures. Structures and animal runs associated with a kennel shall be located at least 100 feet from any property line;
(2) Animals kept on the premises shall be allowed outside only between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.; and
(3) No use shall be made of equipment or material which produces unreasonable vibration, noise, dust, smoke, odor, electrical interference to the detriment of adjoining property.

1) A kennel is permitted in the Agricultural zone as a Conditional Use. (UDC Chapter 23.04.560(b), pg. 41 line 48)
2) Pursuant to GCC 25.04 this application was processed as a Type III Quasi-Judicial permit.
3) Several public records request were made asking for a copy of the application. Copies of the application were sent to those that requested them.

Hector states that there is an additional comment he would like to make. A letter from the public was received after the initial completion of the staff report. The letter is attached to the back of the staff report handed out today. The comment was from V. Joyce Jones and she has some questions regarding the application and addressed that she as in opposition to the allowance of the kennel.

Mitch states that for the record the letter is dated February 8, 2003 and it appears to have been received by the planning department on February 11, 2003.

Hector has pictures of the site. First is of the only house adjacent to the property and looking south. The bottom picture is the view north towards Coulee City.
Hector posted the property posted in the center of the parcel. Next are some pictures of the property and Hector states the property is approx. 47 acres. He also shows some more pictures of the property just to give an idea of what it looks like.

Mitch asked if Hector has an estimate how close the project is to the house in the adjacent property. Hector did not have an estimate. Based on the site plan provided by applicant it would be at least 700 feet.

Mitch asked if there is any thing further from staff. Hector states that there are no additional comments.

Mr. David Hover, 544 Twoney Road Centerville TN. Previously sworn. Application shows as kennel / shelter but actually it is a no kill animal sanctuary, he stated its current site in Tennessee. No complaints from neighbors there. Animals will be for those that are abandoned and abused. The intent is not be taking new animals in, only transferring existing animals from the current site in Tennessee. We are moving to the area to be closer to family and only ask to bring existing animals with them. They choose the proposed site partially because of the amount of acreage available, and they wanted to be as far away from people as they possibly could be because they know that dogs bark and make noise. The animals will have outdoor runs but according to the provisions they will only be outside from 7 am to 7 pm. The remainder of the time they will be enclosed. Their facility is one of only 3 no kill shelters listed in Tennessee. Their purpose is to have a good home of the animals. Do not expect to be adopted out because they have been abused in the past and they just don't make good family pets. The animals have all their shots and are health. Mr. Hoover reads their vision statement as a sanctuary.

Mitch asked if there are people who come to their facility in Tennessee and do you have a staff. Mr. Hoover answers "no". Mr. Hoover states that his wife and himself are the only people who are there. The facility is simply a haven to live out their days. The do no expect to take in any new animals and so by attrition in about 4 years there will be no animals at all.

Public hearing open.

Kenneth Stamps, and lives on the west side of pinto ridge road. It is kitty corner to site of proposed site and approximately ¼ mile away. He states that his questions are the amount of dogs actually talking about and also cats. Concerned about waste proposals of the animals. How do you plan to take care of all of this? Also, the noise factor. How are you going to enclose them so noise won’t be a problem? In that area any barking in a 5-mile radius is heard in that territory. How do you plan to address these issues? Noise factor, sanitation factor. They don’t want the value of our property to go down because of this. Granted 47 acres is a large parcel, but in our area where you see for 15 to 20 miles, 47 acres is just a small little speck. The noise carries with the wind, the same with the odors and smells as well as any potential problems.

John Triplet, 34938 Pinto Ridge Road, Previously sworn. The property there is all scab rock, probably not more then a foot of topsoil anywhere on that property and there is no drainage whatsoever. In order to even put in a septic tank and foundation you would have to do some blasting and it would be a problem. Any waste through the septic tank would have to be down over the bluff and then you are into the water table. There is a main spring that runs through that whole thing, it goes into Wesley's canyon there and then you get down there to that house and there is water flowing through there all the way to Deep Lake in Sun Lake resort area. That whole are is almost nothing but scab rock. I only live about 700 feet from the proposed facilities.

Jennifer Crowder, 303 West Walnut Coulee City, WA. Previously Sworn. I wanted to address a few concerns she has. Her mother lives directly down the road from proposed facility. She provides pictures for Hearing Examiner. The first concern is the disposal of the animal waste. Will it be collected and disposed of in a separate facility or release onto the property. She then states state regulations. Coulee city and surrounding areas sets on solid bed of rock and the average soil depth is about 2 ½ feet. There is a hand dug well on the property that taps into one of the many springs in area. This spring runs downhill to a neighbor property where there is another well that is used for drinking water and into the coulee and into the lakes there. The sloop is very steep. Second is the noise and dogs barking. This property is approximately ½ mile from the Coulee City corporate limits and nearby neighbors. People enjoy the peace and quite of living outside of town. The amount of dogs barking will be distracting and 80 dogs would be heard all the way to town. The coulee echoes sound dramatically. Third is the future resale of this property. There is also the fear of what the facility would be used for in the future. Will there be more animals in the future or will it be used for a breeding facility. Once it is already established it becomes very difficult to have it removed from a community. The last issue to be submitted is the licensing and vacations. State regulations require health certificates and vaccines for any animal being transported into our state. She feels this is very important due to possible escape of animals from their cages. She feels this would be an asset if in a different location. She just feels this is to close to the neighbors. She states that she loves animals and is all for animal shelters. She is just worried about location and affect on neighbors, the noise and the possible health issues. Very concerned about the possible contamination of the water in the spring approximately 1 mile downstream. (Submitted exhibits marked as A - F, which are photos and WAC 16.54.120 along with written comments - 2 pages dated 2-10-03.)

Dave Fuller, 10220 Road 36, Coulee City, previously sworn. Exhibit is from Jean McKinney, nearby neighbor of the property. – Less considered by odors and more by noise. He states that he can hear the church bells 2 miles away. When coyotes go by those dogs will make a lot of noise. The noise does carry a long ways. Another concern is the use of these buildings after the fact. He admires what he is trying to do, he just worries about the noise impact on the community.

No further comments – Public hearing is closed.

Mr. Hover returns to the podium. Provides exhibit to display on overhead. This shows our current facility in Tennessee or at least some of it. Mr. Hoover describes the buildings and outdoor kennels, how they are set up and ways to keep animals from escaping. He states that the buildings include heating, a/c, microwave, full tub for bathing the animals, and also double sinks. Current kennels are 4,000 square feet. It is fully enclosed to accommodate any potential for problems. To clarify they currently have 60 dogs and 20 cats. The plan is to build 110 ft long kennel. Inside the kennel will be 10 x 10 enclosures for sleeping and for feeding. They will have runs that are 10 x 20 feet so they can exercise during the day. They will only be in the public from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. per regulations of the county. Waste – animal waste is not as problematic as human due to food. What they plan to do is if everything goes well here is to have an enclosed septic tank so the waste will not go anywhere. We Currently use a digester so that when they collect the waste it goes into buckets, the digester goes in on top of that and then it is put in water and kept inside the kennel and then deposited into a separate septic and it will have to be pumped out several times during the year to accommodate the waste. All of the animals are current on vaccinations. The average cost to run the sanctuary is between 25 and 30 thousand a year for all the expenses to run the facilities. The plan is to build up some areas around where the kennel is going to be in order to block noise. Currently planning another perimeter fence that will run around the entire kennel so that in the unlikely event that they happen to get out, there is another barrier to keep them from getting possibly getting loose.

Mitch asked of the total number of dogs you have, how many will be outside at any one time.

Mr. Hoover states that all of the dogs could be outside from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and then enclosed during the rest of the hours of the day.

There are no additional staff comments.

That will conclude our hearing. Mr. Delabarre states that he will be taking this under advisement and looking at the materials submitted and comments that have been and then will provide written decision, which will be available within 10 days.

People who provided comment will be receiving a written decision.

Public Hearing is re-opened.

It has been brought to the attention of the Hearing Examiner that the public notices states that written comments can be submitted no later than 5 p.m. on today's date. Normally, the comment period ends to the date of the hearing. Mitch Delabarre states that we will go ahead and receive those written comments and he will take it into consideration.

Public testimony will be reopened.

Jennifer Crowder, previously sworn – returns to podium. She would like to enter written testimony from Jan Webster stating her objection to facilities.

Mr. Hover returns to podium – Wanted to answer a question that was brought up after the hearing was over. The question was once the animals they currently have are finally deceased, will these facilities be reopened in the future or will they be planning on taking in any more animals. The answer to that question is no. They will only bring animals with them because of the time and investment in the ones they already have. Building is going to be steel structures, not general pole buildings. Total cost will be approx. 250 thousand dollars so they want to keep land values up.

Mr. Dave Fuller returns to podium. On his noise concern, if the noise travels that well, then why were only immediate people not notified of this meeting?

Mr. Delabarre states and Scott Clark, directors states that the code requires that landowners within 300 feet are notified. That is what has been done in this case.

Mr. Stamps returns to the podium. Is there any thing in the laws that says they can give a Conditional Permit so it will expire in the future, so that it has to be renewed in say 3 or 5 years. That way if it doesn’t turn out to be as presented here at this hearing, they can be closed down. He would propose 5 years and then have it renewed if necessary.

Mr. Delabarre asks staff to comment in Conditional Use Permit in general on the types of parameters and types of conditional uses.

Scott Clark states that there is not generally a time limit on the life of the Conditional Use Permit. However, if the applicant is acceptable then it is possible for a limit to be placed on it. Subject to conditions of approval.

Mr. Delabarre closes the public hearing and says thank you for your additional comments and input.

Scott Clark states for the record that any additional comments received by 5 p.m. will be forwarded to Hearing Examiner.

Mr. Hover states that he would be more than happy to agree to a 5-year review of this proposal. He wants to be good neighbor and keep everyone happy. This may eliminate the possibility of a possible purchaser down the road from using it as a breeding facility.

Mitch concludes hearing at 1 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted:

Sonja K. Baker, Secretary

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