Planning Commission Endorses Plan for Kennel Near Courtland Rural Villages

Loudoun County planning commissioners have signed off on plans to operate a kennel and dog training facility on Gleedsville Road near Gallorette Place, just north of the Courtland Rural Villages neighborhood.

Preston Kennel would have room to board up to 40 dogs, with classes additionally planned for up to 30 dogs at once. As proposed, it would also include a 1,800-square-foot outdoor play area and caretaker residence. Those would replace an existing residence on the property.

In addition to the canine socialization sessions, which would bring up to 30 dogs together on Saturdays and Sundays, the business would host one-on-one training and group training through the week with up to 10 dogs at once. The application is proposed by David Preston.

Commissioner Eugene Scheel (Catoctin) worried about visibility into the property, which is in the county’s rural area, and the lack of illustrations so far to show what the building will look like. He also expressed concern about an engineering drawing that falsely showed vegetation where there is none.

A nearby resident, Anne Browne, also worried about noise form the kennel.

Walsh Colucci Lubely Walsh attorney Josh Johnson said the dogs would not make noise, displaying a short video of dogs outside not barking.

“The type of training that [trainer] Lauren [White] is going to be engaged in with the dogs and with the people, it’s a very low-stress environment, and it encourages the dogs to just relax and be dogs,” Johnson said. “No stress equals no bark.”

County planner Steve Barney pointed out the business would be required keep noise levels below 55 decibels at the property line, quieter than normal conversation, and that plans for the building will need to be submitted to the county and meet certain design standards before it is permitted. Noise ordinances are enforced on a complaint basis in Loudoun.

Johnson said the applicant is “looking at something more like a manor house style, or like a large residential home style.”

Two other people spoke in this week’s public hearing to attest to White’s skill with dogs, and Bill Schweiker, president of the Courtland Rural Villages HOA, said his neighbors are looking forward to having the kennel and training.

“I can assure you that this is well received by our neighborhood, and once it’s open, we might just close it out immediately,” Schweiker said.

Commissioners unanimously recommended the Board of Supervisors approve the kennel .

rgreene@loudounnow.com

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