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Gina KovacGina Kovac told the Unified Government Commission Feb. 28 that she wanted to have a special use permit to house four rescue dogs. (Staff photo)
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Mary WinchellMary Winchell protested a special use permit at the Unified Government Commission meeting Feb. 28. The permit would allow a neighbor to have four rescue dogs. (Staff photo)
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Frank HarrisonFrank Harrison at the Feb. 28 Unified Government Commission meeting asked for a permit to keep three horses. (Staff photo)
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Rob RichardsonPlanning Director Rob Richardson, left, met with residents after the zoning meeting Feb. 28. (Staff photo)
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ZoningPlanning Director Rob Richardson looked over a computer screen at the Feb. 28 Unified Government Commission meeting. Also looking at the computer were Jody Boeding, left, UG attorney; and Bridgette Cobbins, UG clerk. (Staff photo)
Two zoning actions involving protesting neighbors were delayed at the Feb. 28 Unified Government Commission meeting.
The commission continued its pattern of sending the neighbors back to mediation to resolve their differences. The issue may come back to the UG Commission in a month or longer.
In one case, Gina Kovac wanted a special use permit so that she could keep four rescue dogs at her home. She explained to the commission that she was like a foster parent who takes care of dogs in need of care until a suitable permanent home can be found for them. She said she is not a breeder. Kovac had a letter of support from one neighbor, plus the Planning Commission had recommended it for approval.
But another neighbor, Mary Winchell, protested the special use permit, stating that there was no reason to put breeding animals in that area, although Kovac said it was not for breeding.
In a second case, Frank L. Harrison, who wanted a special use permit to keep three horses on North 49th Drive, was told to meet with a neighbor who opposed the permit before coming back in about a month. The UG Planning Commission previously had recommended denial of this permit, 8-1.
According to the planning staff documents, based on a review of the information on the amount and quality of the land, the opinion of the Conservation District and Health Department, as well as concerns expressed by neighbors, there were not sufficient conditions to keep three horses on the property.
Neighbors in previous meetings, according to UG documents, had complained that a horse was ill; that there was not enough space for it to run; that there was not enough food for the horses; and also, the neighbors complained about the smell.
However, Commissioner Butch Ellison said it was a unique case involving a resident who had lived there 50 years, and referred to some extenuating circumstances. Commissioner Nathan Barnes said Harrison needed a better understanding of what was going on and needed to work out issues with neighbors.
“What’s important to me,” said Commissioner Ann Murguia to the applicant for the rescue dog permit, “is that the people in Wyandotte County can get along and communicate.”
She proposed bringing the issue back to the next UG Commission planning and zoning meeting after the neighbors meet and try to resolve their differences.
The commission agreed to the delays, and it’s possible the case involving the horses may be heard after the election.
In the meantime, UG Planning Director Rob Richardson or his staff will get to be the mediator between neighbors.