Plans for a shelter
that would be for greyhounds and other sighthounds at 950 North CR 100 West
in Liberty Twp. were heard Wednesday by the Porter County Development Review
Committee for an informal site review.
Inc., will be appearing before the County Board of Zoning Appeals later this
month to request a use variance to operate a rescue shelter in a rural
residential area. The parcel is a ten acre site between the Swanson-Lamporte
ditch to the west and CR 100 W to the east. The CSX railroad is along its
Attorney Todd Leeth,
representing American Greyhound and its president Jeff Coggins, said the
shelter will be a smaller building with a looped driveway that runs through
it so dogs can be dropped off inside.
works to find foster homes for the dogs but currently does not have a
shelter facility. “This is a better opportunity to provide care and service
to the animals and their adoptive homes,” Leeth said.
Coggins, who was
present at the meeting, said the building will be designed to accommodate up
to 25 to 30 dogs but often no more than 20 dogs will be housed at a time.
DRC member Robert
Thompson, who is also director of the County Development and Stormwater
Management Department, asked if something will be done to prevent the dogs’
barking being heard by neighbors. Leeth said that the dogs would not be
heard because they would be inside the shelter.
“It’s a building.
It’s enclosed. I don’t think the level of sound would be objectionable
because it will be muffled,” said Leeth, who told the DRC there are no plans
for soundproofing panels. Coggins said that the walls will however be
Kevin Breitzke said there have been other animal facilities where neighbors
have complained about hearing dogs bark, especially when many dogs are
housed or there are noises outside like trains. Coggins said he will make
sure that barking is not an annoyance to the neighbors.
“It there is an
issue, I will address it before the neighbors even hear about it,” Coggins
Leeth said the
building will be on the west end of the property away from the residences
that are on the east side of CR 100 W. There will be landscaping put in that
could buffer any noise emanating from the building.
greyhounds rarely bark, which surprises people to hear. “They are probably
the laziest dogs you’ll ever meet,” he said.
The shelter will be
run by volunteers. Between ten and 20 volunteers are interested in helping
and many of them reside a short distance away, Coggins said.
The dogs will not
be outside when there are no volunteers at the shelter, he added.
There will be
parking spaces for the volunteers, Coggins said. He plans to have one
Saturday per month when those interested in the dogs can come out to the
Shelter. Overflow parking will be on the grass, he said.
DRC member Kelly
Cadwell asked how Coggins intends to handle the water used for washing the
dog kennels and the dogs themselves. Coggins said that dogs will be bathed
once on their intake and water from the cleaning station would run to an
onsite septic system. Dog waste will be picked up by a commercial garbage
company regularly about every day, depending on how many dogs there are, he
Breitzke said that
state regulations do not allow for animal waste to go through a septic
system. He told Coggins and Leeth that given the proximity of the Swanson-Lamporte
drain to the west, the way the organization manages its drainage will be
monitored closely since the drain connects to Lake Michigan.
Leeth said a formal
site plan will be presented once the organization can obtain its variances
from the BZA. The engineer on the project is Scott Civanich of The Duneland