DRB – Minutes and Decision – May 18, 2016


Town of Newfane, P.O. Box 296, Newfane, VT 05345

Site Visit and Hearing:  May 18, 2016 for Appeal 16-2007

Decision:  May 30, 2016

Appellant: Samantha Rivera

Tax Map Lot #: 00B148.2 on 22 Blueberry Circle, Newfane, VT 05345

DRB Members:  Colligan (chair), Cotton, Delius (secretary), Nelson, Wilson

Zoning Administrator (ZA): Tessier

Animal Control Officer (AC):  Young

Abutters Present:  Nupp, Knapp

Abutters Not Present:  Ely, Radway Hill Associates, Dowling, Hazelton

Hearing Attendance: Anderson, Robertson, Lavigne

Background:  Samantha Rivera applied for a zoning permit to allow construction of a kennel to a dwelling.  Zoning permit, #16-2007 application was denied by the ZA for section 333 per bylaws that a new dog kennel requires a conditional use review.  Application signed and sent to the DRB.  A hearing on the appeal was scheduled. The warning was duly published, posted in the town and provided parties as set forth in statute (24VSA, SS4468).

Facts and Findings:  The hearing was opened and potential witnesses were sworn.

Applicant currently maintains 15 personal pets as Huskies (13) Mastiffs (2) in a non-commercial kennel. Commonly available information indicated the puppies are for sale.

The applicant to build a concrete block wall and concrete floor kennel ~19′ wide and 37′ long with walls extending up to 6′ or 7′.   Open yard dog pen area near side of house has electric fence and dogs will remain supervised at all times.

There will be eight 4′ x 8′ cages with a solid roof extending over the cages and escape proof doors and gates with metal plates near the ground.

Kennel capacity of two dogs per cage with 16 total; applicant indicated she would never exceed 16. Applicant made it clear she wants to become a commercial breeder once kennel is established and not run kennel for boarding.

Floor drains will be provided for washing out the kennel.

Applicant indicated all waste would be cleaned up and not flushed down the floor drains but applicant had not determined where the drains would terminate.

Applicant indicated that the kennel would be built over the next year, using the help of friends and family and that the projected cost appeared to be $25,000.

Two large vocal Mastiffs were observed in a small cage area separate from other animals.  And 7 young Husky puppies were observed in the current kennel pen. Finally, some 6 older Huskies were observed in the side yard dog pen, which the applicant said was protected by 4 layers of electric fencing. The fencing and support poles did not appear to be substantial enough.

The applicant proposed to add shielded lighting attached to a sensor above the proposed kennel area.

Neighbors expressed concerns over establishing precedence for other home businesses in the neighborhood, changing the rural character of the road with a building with large amounts of concrete, improper handling of dog waste, worsening conditions of the private road, possible garish lighting and incessant barking.

The new kennel would not trigger an ACT 250 permit since the property is less than 10 acres and Town of Newfane has zoning.

Mike (AC) stated splitting the adult dogs into two areas (kennel and side yard) is good for the pack.  He noted three recent dates where dogs escaped:  11/30/15, 12/6/15 and 2/1/16. Although applicant has fortified side yard with more electric fencing since last breakout, it is highly recommended to complete a kennel ASAP.  He also noted the town has a 15 minute limit for continuous barking.

Merle (ZA) stated that the applicant was denied original application for the kennel for section 333 (need conditional use review by DRB for rural district) and applicant has no current permit or license on file with the town.  Permit was revoked at recent Selectboard meeting.

Applicant submitted an AKC Inspection Report and she was in compliance.

Decision:  The DRB has concluded that the appeal 16-2007 was approved subject the following conditions:

  1. Properly constructed kennel to be built according to submitted site plan with concrete slab floors, concrete walls, and solid roofs for eight (8) stalls for sixteen (16) adult dogs max; each escape-proof door and gate needs a bottom metal plate; shielded down lighting for kennel and side yard pen operated by a sensor (not large flood lights); Side yard pen to be supervised while in use by dogs;
  2. ZA to inspect NEW kennel construction and side yard pen improvements BEFORE applicant re-applies to the Selectboard for permit and license;
  3. Kennel needs to honor barking ordinance; if not, then soundproofing will be needed;
  4. Kennel will need proper stall drains and proper disposal of waste;
  5. Kennel will need to re-apply to DRB if they plan to build more than 8 stalls or breed more than 16 adult dogs since neighbors do not want kennel to overburden the rural character of the private road.


  1. Colligan, Chair  – For the Board