Residents of Leesburg’s Foxridge neighborhood are asking county planning commissioners to stop an application to build a large kennel across the street from them at Graydon Manor.
The application, for property just outside the town boundary along the Leesburg Bypass near C.S. Monroe Technology Center, would permit a 30,000-square-foot kennel for up to 150 dogs and 60 cats. It would come with a 32,000-square-foot outdoor play area for the dogs and be attached to an animal hospital. The animal hospital is already permitted on the site.
County planners support approving the application, but residents have their doubts. Foxridge HOA President Garry Judy said residents often hear noise on that property as though it were in their own neighborhood.
“If this kennel proposal was issued for next to your yard or next to your community, would you be excited about it and want to vote to recommend its construction?” he asked the Planning Commission during a recent public hearing. He said he has been told by real estate agents that property values in Foxridge would go down if the kennel goes up. He was among several Foxridge residents who came out to oppose the application.
The applicant, Graydon Manor LLC, has agreed to noise-dampening designs inside and out, such as an eight-foot fence around the outdoor kennel space; limiting the number of dogs outside at any one time to 30; and keeping dogs inside from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. The kennel would be located on the 131-acre parcel near the Leesburg Bypass.
Judy said considerations like the fence were “appreciated” but unlikely to be enough. The facility would be required to meet the noise standard set out in county zoning for kennels, allowing no more than 55 decibels of noise at the property line—about the level of normal conversation.
“Let’s be honest, though, that would be hard if not impossible to enforce after construction,” Judy said. “Foxridge residents don’t have decibel meters.”
The Planning Commission voted unanimously to send the application to a work session for further discussion.
Graydon Manor was built in the early 1900s as a summer home, then converted to a group home for epileptic children in 1957. It went on to serve as a psychiatric facility until 2016. The property is between Rust Nature Sanctuary to the north and the W&OD Trail to the south.