Saluda considers allowing kennels

Published 5:39 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2017

SALUDA-The City of Saluda is considering allowing kennels after a woman who currently grooms pets made the request.


Saluda City Council met Monday, Sept. 11 and tabled the decision to allow kennels following a public hearing.

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Katrina Thissen, who owns Gentle Hands Grooming, requested to open a kennel to board animals, saying she wants to have a small number of dogs, no more than 10, which will mostly be kept indoors.


Thissen said she mainly wants to have day boarding to give people who are going hiking or kayaking a place to keep their dogs with the option to do some overnight boarding as well.


The Saluda Planning Board approved allowing kennels in the C3 zoning district only, which is a property across the interstate at the corner of Green River and Holbert Cove Roads.


Commissioner Carolyn Ashburn said she thinks dogs are an important part of the tourist industry.


“I think it’s a needed thing in the city,” Ashburn said. “I’d support her request.”


Ashburn also said she would usually go along with what the planning board recommends and she appreciates all the planning board does, but in this case she would differ with the planning board as to where to allow the kennels.


Planning board member Nettie Sweet attended the meeting and said the planning board recommended to restrict kennels to the C3 district only because of the noise dogs make and she doesn’t know anyone who would want to live near a kennel.


Thissen said she would be open to any restrictions the city wants to put on her kennel. She also said the dogs would not be kept outside, just to be walked and exercised during the day.


Thissen is located at 156 W. Highway 176, which is in the C2 district, so council discussed the possibility of allowing kennels in the C2 and C3 districts.


Saluda mayor Fred Baisden said Thissen obviously grooms dogs and keeps them in confined areas to dry. He asked how many animals she normally has in the building. Thissen said she averages 6-8, with a maximum of 12 animals. If she were to add on for a kennel, she said, she wouldn’t want any more than 10 dogs in the kennel.


Ashburn said the city has a noise ordinance that addresses barking dogs so if there were excessive noise the city has a way to address that.


Commissioner Mark Oxtoby said the problem for the city is commissioners aren’t just saying this particular building can have a kennel, the city has to allow it throughout a certain zoning district.


City manager Jonathan Cannon said the city could permit the use as conditional, which would mean each applicant would have to make a request, go before the planning board, then the city have a public hearing and the city could put certain conditions, within reason, on the business.


Cannon later said the city could allow closed kennels (inside) in C2 and open and closed kennels in C3, for example.


After several questions from council, the board decided to table the decision until the city attorney could answer them. Council’s questions included what types of animals would be allowed in a kennel and if the city can restrict the number of animals that are kept in a kennel.


Saluda should make a decision in October on whether to allow kennels as a permitted use and where.