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Westmount Shopping Center dog kennel idea deserves a ‘good boy’ from council committee

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Calling it an “innovative” play kennel to help fill space at the Westmount Mall, a city council committee unanimously approved a rezoning application Monday night.

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It’s an underutilized space with great potential, politicians from the council’s planning committee said.

Ward 10 County. Paul Van Meerbergen, who represents the region, joined the meeting to ask for support for the proposed new tenant.

“Westmount Shopping Center is a center, it’s right in the heart of Westmount. It’s such an important economic driver for South West London, and little by little it’s reinventing itself,” he said.

It’s on the way to a true renaissance, and this addition of Dogtopia to the mall is a big step in that direction.

More than a third of the Westmount mall, which is being rebranded to Westmount Commons, is vacant, city staff said.

Dogtopia would provide space for 72 dogs in a daycare model, as well as boarding for up to eight dogs overnight. However, many other Dogtopia sites see about half that volume.

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The committee voted 6-0 to recommend rezoning. He goes to full council in mid-February.

City council delayed a decision on another rezoning application last fall to allow a call center at Westmount Shopping Center due to policies to concentrate office space downtown.

Ward 11 County Stephen Turner said the dog daycare proposal is different.

“It’s an underutilized space, it doesn’t conflict with policies, it makes a lot of sense,” he said.

“I think the possibilities of use are innovative.”

Mayor Ed Holder also defended the kennel, saying, “T it is an exceptional and innovative business model.

Ward 9 County. Anna Hopkins, who chairs the planning committee, said she still has reservations about bringing a kennel to the middle of town, particularly about the possibility of building a outdoor space as an expansion in the future.

“This It seems to me that there are a lot of unanswered questions, maybe because it’s new to our city, this type of business coming into a mall,” she said.

Politicians asked Dogtopia representatives about their other locations across the country and whether there had been any complaints from nearby businesses and residents, particularly about odors.

Michael Waitzer of Dogtopia said the company uses an air system that removes odors, kills bacteria and keeps its rooms cool.

mstacey@postmedia.com

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