Animal kennel project raises questions

Best Friends Total Pet Care's application to open a veterinary hospital/kennel in Wilton at 213 Danbury Road raised questions from commissioners at Monday night's Planning and Zoning meeting.

The public hearing for the project, which would involve joining two structures on the property by building a hallway between them, as well as the installation of multiple outdoor and indoor dog runs, was opened May 23 and continued to June 13.

In response to staff comments and commissioner's questions from May 23, Gregory and Adams attorney Casey Healy said on behalf of the applicant June 13 that there would be 118 dog "suites" — meaning 118 dogs, max — and "three indoor play areas."

"Waste will be immediately collected in containers and at the end of the day, it will be removed and disposed of in a toilet specifically designated for the purpose," Healy said. "Urine would permeate through the dog turf just like grass," Healy said.

He said "the outdoor play areas would be washed daily."

Secretary Dorris Knapp was not convinced. She asked, "What happens to this huge, huge, huge amount of diluted urine?"

Project site engineer Joseph Cannis of Tighe and Bond answered her that all neighboring properties are on public water and do not have their own private wells.

Commissioner Joe Fiteni said the neighboring land is zoned residential, and "if somebody were to buy the land and subdivide it, those people would not be on public water."

"They could be," replied Healy.

"They could be, but they'd also have the right to put a well in," Fiteni said.

The attorney of the owner of Wilton Hospital for Animals at 215 Danbury Road spoke against the 213 Danbury Road project on May 23, and returned June 13 to clarify his and his client's position.

On May 23, he had said that because the floor area ratio of the property in question is already nonconforming, the applicant cannot move forward, because Wilton's zoning regulations forbid enlarging or expanding a preexisting nonconformity.

Healy said June 13 he went before the Zoning Board of Appeals June 6 to apply for a variance to increase the floor area ratio notwithstanding the current nonconformity.

Counsel for Wilton Hospital for Animals said June 13 that a variance would not be enough, because the Planning and Zoning Department requires that all zoning regulations be satisfied before issuing a special permit, which Best Friends Total Pet Care needs for the project.

Ultimately, the hearing for Best Friends Total Pet Care's application was again continued, this time to June 27.