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Sunday March 7th, 2021 3:29PM

Hall County Commission wrestles with 'doggie daycare' decision

By Marc Eggers Anchor / Reporter

GAINESVILLE – A “doggie daycare” was approved for a residential area Thursday evening by the Hall County Commission, but the approval carries a condition limiting the owner’s business license to a one year term that is subject to review and renewal.

Members of the commission complimented both those arguing in support and those arguing in opposition for making creditable presentations, but in the end a decision had to be made.

“I would like to congratulate both sides,” District 2 Commissioner Billy Powell said, “I think you have done your homework, done your research and presented everything in a nice, concise manner.”

Applicant Perrin Chunta was seeking Special Use approval from commissioners to provide daycare for up to fifteen canines on her 7-acre home site on Pine Forest Road near Woodland Circle in District 2.   

Seven neighbors addressed the commission in opposition to the plan citing several concerns including nuisance noise, the possibility dogs could get loose and threaten neighbors, increased vehicle traffic from clients, setting a precedent for future commercial uses in the area and perceived difficulty in monitoring and enforcing the restrictions Chunta agreed to if approval was given.  

“I have firsthand knowledge of how difficult it is to keep a dog in,” neighbor Jamie Idol said of the efforts to which she has gone to maintain the two dogs she owns.

Fellow dog-owner, neighbor and twenty year resident Dawn McLaughlin said she and many other dog owners consider their dogs as children, and was understanding when the Chunta’s personal dogs barked in the past, but now that her neighbor was turning dog care into a business it was different.

“I didn’t say anything about the…dogs barking next door; those are their babies,” McLaughlin began. “I have my baby…but this (doggie daycare center) is for money; this is different.”   

Emotion seasoned the arguments on both side of the Special Use request but the time to make a decision had arrived and Powell moved about in his chair as if to find a comfortable position before verbalizing his motion to approve or deny.

“Some of y’all may think that this is easy up here, but these types of things are the most difficult decisions that we make,“ Powell told the audience. 

Powell made a motion to approve the application but added a condition to the approval that Chunta’s initial business license be limited to a one year term and that she reappear before the commission to renew that license.  “So you’ve got one year on probation, basically,” Powell told Chunta.

Powell’s fellow commissioners agreed with the motion and the vote to approve was unanimous.

UNG GAINESVILLE STUDENT HOUSING PLAN TABLED AGAIN

Commissioner Billy Powell asked that the application by Mallory and Evans Partners, LLC, to construct a student housing complex on the Gainesville campus of the University of North Georgia be tabled once again, this time until January 28, 2021.

After the meeting Powell said, “I wanted to table that one so I could look into some issues about access and traffic.”

“After reviewing the package that staff has put together and looking at all the maps, the layout and the businesses in the vicinity, I felt like it was best to table it for a thirty day period and get the answers to all these questions,” Powell explained.

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Hall County Commission wrestles with 'doggie daycare' decision
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