GAINESVILLE -- A new kennel and dog training facility gets the okay from the Hall County Planning Commission and now moves to the county commission for its consideration.
The facility, which a couple wants to house in an existing barn off of Mangum Mill Road in the east part of the county, was unanimously approved for recommendation by the county planning commission at its meeting Tuesday evening.
Although the planning commission vote was unanimous, the proposal was not without opposition from nearby residents, several of whom spoke at the public hearing expressing concerns about noise and safety.
Amanda Caldron and Jesse Cortez said at the meeting that they want to live in the house on the nearly 20-acre property just south of Cato Road and use the land as training ground for the dogs that their service works with. She said they train dogs both for personal pets and for law enforcement and military use.
"We work a lot with animal control and different shelter staffs - we also work with humane societies," Caldron said. "The aggressive training that we do is controlled aggression. It's absolutely part of a balanced approach."
Caldron said she wanted to house 20 to 25 dogs in the barn if approved, with plans to build a larger facility that could house closer to 50 animals in the next three to five years.
Robin Watson lives nearby on Mangum Mill Road and she said she's worried about the noise the animals would cause.
"It's quiet. I mean, we have chickens and cows, but not 50 or 25 dogs in an area like that. I mean, I just feel like it's a lot," Watson said.
Several other residents spoke against the kennel, with one saying they would also push back against it when the commission gives it a final vote later in the month.
The planning commission recommended the facility with the conditions that dogs not be allowed outside during the overnight hours, that no more than 25 dogs be allowed on the property at any one time. Planning Commissioner Frank Sosebee made the motion to recommend and he said the business was not one county officials were used to dealing with.
"It's new territory for us," Sosebee said. "There's no one to really oversee her right now, so I kind of felt like the best thing was to just let it go to the commission and with good intentions."
The commission will consider the request at its meeting on September 28.