Kennel property rezoned but not for Airdrie shelter

Tuesday, Mar 13, 2012 06:00 am | JOHN GLEESON
Noel West/Mountain View Gazette
Noel West/Mountain View Gazette
Glenda Hunsperger speaks with Mountain View County planner Dolu Gonzalez after Wednesday's public hearing.
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A 20-acre rural property – once hailed by the Airdrie Humane Society as the answer to its prayers – was rezoned to Agriculture-2 last week, after the owner said there were no plans to expand it beyond its current use as a kennel.

Glenda Hunsperger told council that her plan was to eventually sell the 20-acre parcel, situated 1.5 miles southwest of Didsbury.

“My husband passed away and this was way too much work for me,” Hunsperger said.

The Airdrie Humane Society had been looking for a facility between Airdrie and Red Deer and Hunsperger had considered selling it for that purpose, in part to keep the family name alive, she said.

“That has fallen through, that won’t be happening,” she told council.

When the proposal to rezone was circulated late last year, two neighbours wrote letters of objection. In her response to the letters, Hunsperger said she would reconsider her plan to sell the property to the humane society in light of her neighbours’ concerns.

At last week’s public hearing, both neighbours reiterated their objections.

“The original document said there was going to be a dog kennel and our concern was having that kind of development right next to our land,” Greg Neufeld of Neu Century Farms said.

David Schellenberg said a humane society facility would not be “feasible” in the area.

“It’s beautiful farmland. It would be a shame to have it go to something other than farmland,” Schellenberg said.

Staff confirmed that the property has been operating as a kennel since 2008, with a maximum of 24 dogs allowed at one time under its discretionary use permit. Any proposed changes to the development permit would be circulated to neighbours.

Div. 1 Coun. Kevin Good said he supported the rezoning as a first-parcel-out application, “and with all the public consultations we’ve had there’s a very strong majority that wants to have the opportunity to have first parcel out.”

The proximity to Didsbury was also a factor, he said.

Div. 7 Coun. Paddy Munro concurred that first parcel out is “generally accepted,” but there is a difference of opinion regarding the minimum size for an agricultural parcel, he added.

“It has an operating business on it, which we approved not that long ago,” Div. 5 Coun Bob Orr said. “I would support it.”

The rezoning was passed with only Munro opposed.


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