Supervisors appear to be headed toward approving a kennel on Gleedsville Roadjust north of the Courtland Rural Villages neighborhood, over the objections of people living nearby.
Billed as a dog training facility, Preston Kennel would have room to board up to 40 dogs, with classes additionally planned for up to 30 dogs at once, adding up to as many as 70 dogs on the property at one time overseen by three employees. It would also include a 1,800-square-foot outdoor play area and caretaker residence. Those would replace an existing residence on the property.
At a public hearing Wednesday, June 12, residents of Stone Fox Estates, a subdivision and homeowners’ association just a few hundred feet to the north, objected to plans by owner David Preston and trainer Lauren White. They worried about traffic and raod safety, sanitation, noise, and the ratio of staff members to dogs.
That includes Melt Gourmet Cheeseburgers owner Steve Hancock, who lives in Stone Fox. He said he wrote the applicants’ attorney, Joshua Johnson of Walsh Colucci Lubely Walsh, about his concern that there is no adequate disposal plan for fecal matter, urine, or other contaminated fluids on the site.
Hancock said Johnson replied to say there would be no septic or treatment plans—instead fecal matter would be scooped up, put in bags, and put in a dumpster.
“Mr. Johnson says this is what homeowners do, and the kennel is no different,” Hancock said. “I beg to differ. The kennel is definitely different. Here you will find a large concentration of dogs—up to as many as 70—defecating and urinating at will. The possible sanitation problems for this and the surrounding areas is huge.”
Supporters of the plan, including White’s personal acquaintances, argue under her leadership, the dogs will not be noisy. Johnson, as he had at the Planning Commission, again showed a brief clip of dogs not barking to demonstrate.
Supervisor Ron A. Meyer Jr. (R-Broad Run) pointed out that while he has no doubt White is “an awesome person and an awesome trainer,” “we sort of have to separate ourselves out from that” in land use decisions.
Vice Chairman Ralph M. Buona (R-Ashburn) agreed: “special exception conditions will run with the land… and so if the special exception is approved, they run with the land regardless of any subsequent owner of the land.”
Supervisors have scheduled a vote for July 2.