GREEN SPRING VILLAGE, Wisconsin – A couple from Spring Green who are planning to run a controversial dog breeding facility have encountered an obstacle in their attempt to start the operation that will sell beagles for medical testing.
In July, the Village of Spring Green planning commission rejected a conditional use permit for a breeding facility at Jill and Clinton Kane’s residence on Pearl Road, which the couple appealed.
In a 4-1 vote after a 90-minute closed-door meeting on Tuesday night, the zoning appeal board dismissed the appeal.
A Board of Trustees for the Village of Spring Green has rejected a call to establish a couple’s dog breeding establishment, after the plan commission denied the permit in July. The couple already have a permit for a larger facility in the CITY of Spring Green (Yes, this is getting a little confusing) @ WISCTV_News3 pic.twitter.com/ieEE7TGjnY
– Madalyn O’Neill (@ news3madalyn) October 9, 2019
The Kanes currently have a separate license for a nearby kennel on Big Hollow Road to breed dogs in the town of Spring Green, which had to be approved by a Sauk County committee last summer. This came after the city rescinded its recommendation for approval over concerns from the community.
“It’s been a battle,” said Nicole Peterson, a Spring Green resident, who lives near the facilities.
Peterson and others against the Pearl Road ranching facility call the final battle a victory.
“It’s not just about search dogs, it’s about our entire community,” said Peterson. “I think that’s just not the type of area or community that this type of large-scale dog breeding establishment belongs to.”
Peterson and many others have expressed fears that the installation could lead to increased noise levels and lower property values, not to mention ethical concerns.
“There is so much better research these days that it can be done in different ways, and we don’t need to use companion dogs to do that research,” she said.
“Everyone I’ve spoken to thinks it’s a necessary evil. Unfortunately, there is some good that can come from it, ”said Michael Mertens, member of the Zoning Appeal Board. “If there is a way to do it and it can be good for people medically, for pets medically, there are benefits and I think people recognize that.”
Mertens is the only one of five board members to vote against dismissing the appeal, saying he believes the use of Kanes meets the definition of kennel allowed by the village ordinance.
Board chairman Todd Miller said the intent of the word’s meaning in the ordinance is unclear and is concerned about expanding the definition of kennel to include facilities that breed dogs for research could be detrimental
“That still holds, is it reasonable to have this kennel in a garage attached to the residence in the zoning district,” Miller said at the meeting. “I think very strongly that this is unreasonable.”
Board members supporting the dismissal of the appeal cited neighbors’ concerns about nuisance and noise, although Jane Leaf, who lives down Kanes Road, spoke.
“I didn’t hear anything,” Leaf said. ” I do not hear anything. There is no nuisance.
The Kanes and their attorney, Michael Curran, attended the meeting but made no comment other than saying their next step will be an appeal to circuit court.
Residents of the village of Spring Green can vote on a referendum to ban research puppy mills next year.
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