Owner says screening fenced-in activity area would be waste of money
When Dawgs in Motion owner Sue Richison first presented plans for her dog- training and grooming business on North Dekora Woods Boulevard in 2008, Village of Saukville officials were concerned that the venture would not blend in with its commercial neighbors.
To ensure it would fit the area, the Community Development Authority required that the business add landscaping and screen the fenced, 110-foot-by-110-foot outdoor activity yard used by the canine clients.
The exercise area is about half-way back from the road on the 3.5-acre parcel.
Richison has now asked the CDA to ease its screening requirements.
Specifically, she wants the village to drop its requirement that a wooden barrier be added to hide the rubber-coated chain-link fencing.
By village code, metal fencing is not allowed in the industrial park, but an exception was granted Dawgs in Motion, provided the fence was screened.
“I am still a young business just trying to get by, and financially it is going to be difficult. Besides, it isn’t going to look that great being all boarded up,” Richison told the CDA.
“I don’t know of any complaints about the way the business looks. I’d rather put the money toward something that will help grow the business, like adding a sign.”
Richison said several customers discovered the business when they drove by and saw the dogs in the fenced area. Dogs are never left unattended in the yard.
Village President Barb Dickmann reminded Richison that the village already altered its original agreement with the business, by allowing her to board dogs overnight.
Community Development Director Brian Biernat said that since the business was approved, the village has implemented a conditional-use review to give officials the option of allowing chain-link fences.
“That option did not exist when the applicant presented her request. If the business came to us today requesting a cyclone fence, it could be allowed following the conditional-use process,” Biernat said.
Following his cue, the CDA suggested Richison go through the conditional-use hearing process, giving neighbors within 300 feet a chance to voice concerns.
Richison agreed with the compromise, but was still not sold on the idea the wooden fencing would improve the appearance of her property.
“It is a natural setting right now, and adding a wooden fence is just going to make it look hideous,” she said.
The conditional-use hearing has been scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 21.
In advance of that hearing, Richison said she has contacted all of the neighboring businesses to see if they object to the chain-link fence.
“When I talked to them to see what they thought about the fence, they all said, ‘I don’t even see why the village is making an issue of this,’” she said.
DAWGS IN MOTION owner Sue Richison played with canine clients Maggie and Marley in the fenced exercise area behind her business on Dekora Woods Boulevard in Saukville. Richison is seeking a waiver from a village requirement that the 110-foot-by-110-foot area be surrounded by a wooden fence. Photo by Mark Jaeger