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Group says no to site for pound

Subdivision speaks out against the noise, stench

Published: Friday, Nov. 30, 2012 1:15 a.m. CDT

DIXON – Lee County Animal Control may be seeking another location yet again.

The Dixon Plan Commission was unanimous in its vote not to recommend the pound move to a vacant car sales lot at 928 E. River Road, after residents of a nearby subdivision expressed their opposition.

The City Council will have the final say Monday.

After failing in a first request for a facility at 1213 River Road, animal control officials asked for a special use Thursday to consolidate its offices and dog kennels in what Office Manager Teri Zinke thought was a more isolated location adjacent to an auto repair shop.

The last time the Plan Commission rejected their proposal, Lee County officials backed off their request.

Consolidating its facilities would streamline services and save county taxpayers money, Zinke said. Its office is on the third floor of the Old Lee County Courthouse, 5 miles away from River Ridge Animal Hospital on Route 2 west of town where animals now are impounded. The hospital charges the county a basic rate to use its building.

The proposed facility on River Road would have 12 indoor kennels designed so the dogs could not interact with each other. Zinke said six dogs is the most they have had at any time in the last year.

“They are with us only temporarily,” Zinke said.

Residents of a subdivision “up the hill” from the proposed oppose the site because of the potential noise and stench.

Bob Shomaker, 256 Deer Chase, presented a petition with 76 opponents’ names; about 20 of them attended the meeting.

Zinke said the closest home to the site is 325 feet away, but residents pointed out that their property line is less than 100 feet away. Animal control representatives said no sound could be heard in the subdivision from a test they conducted.

Three residents contested that claim, saying noises from nearby River Road operations could be heard.

Beth Wilson, a real estate agent with Sauk Valley Properties, said the animal control facility could hurt property values in an “upper end” subdivision.

City Commissioner Dennis Considine also opposes the proposal, “because of the overall direction the city is headed,” he said.

“If the city wishes to expand that area recreationally along the river for walkways and bikeways, it will become difficult to ask the county to leave that area.”

Also Thursday, the Plan Commission recommended a special use request from Kreider Services for recycling of electronic, traditional cardboard, plastic and food scrap materials at 629 Palmyra Road.

They also recommended a special use request from Connie Spencer, who wants to open a kettlebell exercise center at 141 North Court St.

The City Council will vote on all recommendations at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday at City Hall, 121 W. Second St.

 

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