Dog business argues for spot at Adams Twp. mall

September 10, 2019 Cranberry Local News

The Dog Stop co-founder Jesse Coslov (front center) presented plans for a kennel location at a conditional use hearing Monday night. Adams Ridge residents attended the meeting with concerns about noise, odor and access management.

ADAMS TWP — A conditional use hearing Monday night for The Dog Stop generated a lot of bark from Adams Ridge residents who had concerns about its proposed location.

The Dog Stop is a combined kennel and retail store with 20 locations — including one in Wexford — in seven states. Co-founder Chris Kane presented a business plan to Adams planning commissioners in July. CEO and co-founder Jesse Coslov presented additional information at the hearing Monday night.

“It's much more like a retail center,” Coslov said. “We really have something to offer for every dog owner.”

The Dog Stop offers overnight boarding, day care, grooming and American-made retail services. Coslov and franchise owner Michael Oldaker hope to occupy 7,000 square feet in the former McGinnis Sisters Special Food Stores along Route 228.

A turf yard behind the building would keep dogs active during the day. The curb across the street needs to be moved back about 8 feet to accommodate the yard. The store would feature 40 kennels and be able to hold 30 to 55 dogs.

Kane said in July he obtained a letter of support from some of the other business in the mall.

But Adams Ridge residents who live across from the location aren't so happy.

“You need to find a different location,” resident Gail Carpenter said. “This is just not suitable.”

Carpenter said she's a dog owner and lover but doesn't want a kennel so close to her home. She said the business will not be able to satisfy conditional use requirements, specifically as they pertain to noise.

Brickyard Kennels owner and Adams Ridge resident Jerry Hughes said he doesn't believe The Dog Stop will be able to manage odors. Coslov explained feces are physically removed by The Dog Stop representatives. Urine will be cleaned off the turf with living enzymes. A special epoxy is used indoors for easy cleanup.

Hughes doesn't believe these will make much difference.

“You can smell that urine smell,” Hughes said.

Lori Allison said she lived next to an illegal kennel for several years. The “incessant barking” affected her enjoyment of her property. According to Allison, the matter was resolved when she contacted the animal control officers.

“It really affected for three years our entire little village area,” Allison said.

Allison told Coslov and Oldaker she did not understand how they could manage the barking of up to 55 dogs during the day. In his presentation, Coslov presented a plan to install sound buffers between the business and the neighborhood.

“You're very confident,” Allison told Coslov and Oldaker. “I guess we're all going to become very good friends with the animal control officer.”

Residents also said they were concerned for the safety of the dogs, as the area has heavy traffic.

Residents encouraged supervisors to listen to “the constituents” and vote against the conditional use plan. They also welcomed Coslov and Oldaker to the community and suggested there might be another location in the township.

Coslov and Oldaker said they've been looking for a new location for five years.

“It comes down to cost per foot,” Oldaker said.

He said Adams Township is a “booming” area with room for an active strip mall, like the place The Dog Stop would use.

“We love it up here,” Oldaker said.

The Dog Stop would generate 15 to 20 new jobs.

Supervisors will render a decision at their Sept. 23 meeting.