Owner of proposed Fairfield dog hotel responds to neighbors… – CT Insider


FAIRFIELD — The owner of a veterinary hospital and dog hotel in Stamford planning to open a Fairfield location promised he would be a good neighbor amid concerns from the community about how the project would affect the area.

“We will do anything that is necessary that makes sure our neighbors’ lives and their children and their homes are kept safe, ” Dr . Philip Putter, the veterinarian plus owner of Spot on Veterinary Hospital & Hotel, said in a Fairfield Town Plan and Zoning public hearing on Tuesday.

The hearing was packed with residents, many of whom were waiting for a chance to express their displeasure with the proposal for 2269 Post Road. Residents have already started organizing to stop the particular plans for the veterinary hospital and dog hotel from coming to fruition, citing concerns about possible noise, smell and how the proposed zoning amendment would impact the town.

Commission members asked questions about waste removal, trees planted on the edge of the property and what types of measures would be taken to prevent sound from escaping the building.

Putter and his team were consistent with their message during their presentation, saying they would be filling a need in the community and would not negatively impact their neighbors. Putter said he started the Restaurant stamford grand business because he did not feel comfortable leaving his animals in the places he worked as a veterinarian.  

Putter said when people think about dog kennels, they often think of mud, smells in addition to dogs sleeping outside — but that is not how his business operates. He stated his business is an one stop shop, with a day care, hotel, hospital and grooming center, later adding it is essentially a mom and pop operation with excellent quality of care.

“We’re going to do what we say we’re going to do and we are who we say we are, ” he said.

Noise has been a big concern through neighbors, but Putter mentioned staff will prevent dogs coming from incessant barking. He explained squirt bottles are one method they use to stop barking, but if it persists the dog will be put in a room for a break. He also noted no dogs will be outside, other than for the bathroom, when the temperature is more than 80 degrees or less than 40 levels.

Putter’s team of presenters also included a civil engineer, an architect and an acoustic engineer.  

Erik Miller-Klein, the acoustic engineer, claimed sound studies are not required by law, but Putter hired him anyway. He went through the study, noting that ambulance sirens would be  75 percent louder than dogs barking from the proposed vet.  

“The analysis showed that based on the predicted Lmax – impulse sound level results most barks will not be louder than normal daytime traffic noise, ” the study says. “This means that assumptions about the source of dog barks cannot be assumed to be Spot On Veterinary, but must be effectively investigated to determine the origin from the dog barking. A single dog’s bark within nearby residential yards could be perceptible up to 250 feet. ”

Miller-Klein said noise from the building is estimated to be seventy five percent quieter than the background noise of the neighborhood. He also said dogs are the loudest during nap time when they are locked up.

“Outdoor play tends to be as much as 15 decibels quitter, ” he said. “On a normal day, if you had your windows closed, you wouldn’t even know there was barking. ”

John Knuff, Putter’s attorney for the application, said Putter is committed to the community and taking every possible precaution to be a good neighbor. He said they have been listening to residents’ concerns and were submitting six additional recommendations to the commission that could make the zoning regulation amendment more restrictive.  

“We have absolutely no concerns about going forward with the application with the changes, ” he says.

The additions include having play areas at least 50 feet from residential zones, not allowing pets outside of the play areas and requiring at least eight-foot high outdoor fencing around play areas. Knuff said Spot On’s plans already call for a 10-foot tall fence.

Knuff added staff will not be walking canines around the neighborhood and that, besides bathroom breaks, dogs will never be outside at night or the early morning.

“The precautions that we’re offering are equal to or better than the prohibition of having a dog daycare in a residential zone, ” he reported.

Putter said there is an increased need for the services his business offers, adding there has been a 30 percent rise in the number of pets in people’s homes since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

“There’s an incredible uptick for the need of vets, ” this individual said, noting that people are waiting up to one month for appointments, and that is too long to wait for a sick pet. “We’re available. We don’t state no . We can fulfill the need that’s there. ”

Putter said their process with regard to feces clean up will prevent concerns about bad smells by being an issue. He also said no animals is going to be outside without staff, and there are double doors everywhere in the building to prevent a pet from getting outside.  

The next hearing for the application is set regarding Jan. 24, where the opposition is expected to present first.  

Joshua. [email protected] com

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