Council says no to dog boarding

Deb Moldaschel
The Sleepy Eye Herald Dispatch

The question of allowing a dog boarding business in a residential neighborhood drew a number of comments at the July 14 City Council meeting.

Rose Martinka had applied for a conditional use permit to board dogs at 421 2nd Avenue SE and appeared before the council to talk about her business. She told the council she would board up to 10 dogs at a time in the garage and build a solid fence to enclose the adjacent yard. Councilor Larry Braun asked if the conditional use were to be approved how it would affect the city’s ordinance allowing only 2 dogs per residence. City Attorney Allisa Groen said the ordinance would have to be amended.

Five neighborhood residents spoke before the council to register their disapproval, mainly citing the affect on property values, noise of barking dogs, and that it should not be located in a residential area. City Manager Bob Elston read four letters from similarly opposed neighbors. A signed survey of about 45 neighbors indicated the majority were opposed. Two people spoke in favor of the dog boarding business saying they have been customers and loved the care and work of Martinka.

The Council voted unanimously to deny the conditional use permit

Craig Murphy asked the Council to consider closing the alley north of his residence on 3rd Ave NE (Highway 4 frontage road.) He proposed maintaining a sidewalk as he found most use was by walkers. The Council received an email from the daughter of the neighboring property owner indicating they were opposed to closing the alley. The issue died for lack of a motion.

The Council approved a request by the Servicemen’s Club to close the street in front of the club for a street dance on Sept. 11. Asked by this reporter about the limit of 250 people at outdoor events, Councilor Nathan Stevermer said that would be a matter for the Servicemen’s Club to consider if it is still in effect at that time — then he made the motion to approve.

After reporting on the 12th Avenue and 2020 Street projects, engineer Dave Palm told the council he’d been contacted by the county about the project they plan for 1st Avenue (a county road) next year. Palm said it will involve a complete rebuild from Walnut to St. Mary’s Street and a mill and overlay on 3rd Avenue north of St. Mary’s (also part of the county road.)