HADLEY – A kennel that would provide a home for rescued dogs before they are adopted could be built near the city’s transfer station.
Jenny Franz, founder of Better Together Dog Rescue in Belchertown, told the Planning Board last week that she was considering buying two undeveloped lots on a gravel section of North Branch Road, a street between Cemetery Road and the river. Connecticut, to move forward with the project.
“I’m looking for a place to build my community dog shelter,” Franz said. “It would be a place to house, rescue and adopt dogs.”
Before she could go ahead with the project, Franz said she needed to make sure there was enough street frontage for the lots on either side of the road. Its purchase is also subject to obtaining a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
According to the preliminary concept, there would be room for 16 dogs in a building on one lot, and on the other would be the outdoor play area for the pets.
Planning Council Clerk William Dwyer said kennels and veterinary offices are permitted in the agricultural/residential zone by special permit.
“It’s pretty much a kennel,” Dwyer said.
Planners also informed Franz that there were houses not too far down Cemetery Road and West Street. She replied that she was not trying to exclude anyone from the project and that she needed to be in an accessible location that was not totally off the beaten path.
Franz said she is looking forward to constructing the building so more dogs can be rescued and the community can be involved. Additionally, Franz said she hopes the site can be a place to engage people in projects, such as vaccination clinics, a mobile food pantry and a free store.
In other business before the Planning Council, planners have approved battery storage, 40ft-long concrete pads and poles that will be associated with existing solar projects near the Hampshire Shopping Centre.
Nexamp Inc. is looking to add battery backup for the 4.63 megawatt project that covers more than 15 acres of farmland off Westgate Center Drive.
The council previously approved the solar project in May 2017 and in August 2019 agreed to allow the installation of the battery backup.
Mickey Marcus, principal at SWCA Environmental Consultants in Amherst, said energy companies get a little more money for projects if they add battery backup. The batteries make it possible to store the energy then to restore it to the network at night.
The project is not in the city aquifer, which means the batteries could use ethylene glycol cooled systems.
Rather than requiring the batteries to use propylene glycol, planners called for the concrete slab to have curbs for any spill containment.