County commissioners narrowly approved a conditional use application for a longtime dog breeding kennel on…
Marion County commissioners on Tuesday approved a special use permit that allows an established kennel in Dunnellon to continue operating on a three-acre parcel of land.
Sandra F. Kimble, owner of Wolves Den Ranch, applied for the special permit after receiving notice from the county that some local ranchers would need to obtain the permits for their businesses. The special use permit allows Kimble to operate the kennel/breeding facility, which is located at 11080 SW 110th Ave., in an area zoned general agriculture. The facility has been in operation on the property for approximately six years.
Kimble told the commissioners that she plans to raise two to three litters of German Shepherds a year. She said the dogs are exercised at two-hour intervals with no more than two or three in classes at any given time. And she said the number of adult dogs and puppies at the facility will not exceed 20 at any one time.
Kimble said customers come to her facility to visit and possibly pick up their puppies, as well as to attend “puppy play dates.” She said the property experiences minimal traffic and adequate parking is available for its guests.
Kimble’s property is fully fenced and a buffer of trees exists on the western and southern boundaries. County officials confirmed they had not received any complaints about the company in its six-year history. They said the special use permit limits the intensity of use and the monitoring of any negative impact on surrounding areas.
The commissioners also clarified that the special use permit was granted to Kimble, not the property, and that she must reside at the site. It also stipulated that all dog droppings were to be picked up daily and removed from the site at least once a week. And any lighting on site should be directed away from neighboring properties and shielded to prevent light spillage into those areas.
The permit authorizes up to nine breeding dogs and the sale of puppies bred and delivered on site directly to customers. But Kimble can’t sell the animals to pet stores, flea markets or other “non-direct entities,” or allow commercial boarding of the animals.
Two of Kimble’s neighbors wrote letters of support for her and her partner at the facility, Dayla Libby, who is certified by the American Kennel Club to breed German Shepherds.
Linda Richardson, who lives next door to the facility, said Kimble’s dogs never bothered her and she felt safer knowing the animals were nearby and barking.
Candice and J. Jackson said they had been Kimble’s neighbors for several years and had never had any issues with the kennel/breeding operation. In fact, like Richardson, they believe it provides additional protection for their property.
“It has been our pleasure getting to know Sandra and Dayla,” the Jacksons’ letter read. “We then consider them not just neighbors but friends.”