Weekly Feature

2017-07-13 / Front Page

Proposal for doggy day care tabled

by KATE PELCZYNSKI
Editor


Mike Gates holds a picture showing the proposed doggy day care at Tres Chic Pet Boutique during a recent East Aurora Village Board meeting. 
Photo by Chuck Skipper. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Mike Gates holds a picture showing the proposed doggy day care at Tres Chic Pet Boutique during a recent East Aurora Village Board meeting. Photo by Chuck Skipper. Purchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com The East Aurora Village Board tabled a motion to vote on a proposed doggy day care at Tres Chic Pet Boutique during a meeting on July 5. The move comes after an error in which some letters announcing the public hearing were not sent out to residents.

“We were supposed to send [letters] out to those within 750 feet of the business,” said Mayor Al Kasprzak. “We only sent them out to those within 500 feet of the business.” He said there were about 60 people who didn’t get the letter, leading to the decision to hold off on making a decision.

Despite the mistake, community members both for and against the doggy day care filled the room.

Amy Gates, owner of the pet boutique at 660 Persons St., cleared up what she said was misinformation about the day care, beginning with the number of dogs that would be inside the facility.

“I know the number 40 has been thrown around,” she said. “We never said that was the number we were going to have. For a developing business, we’ll start small, we’ll be safe and we’ll see where we go from there.” She emphasized that the business is not a kennel because it will not cage animals or keep them overnight.

“We will simply be a day care center for the dogs to run and play during specific days and hours,” she said.

Gates said that after the meeting on June 19, she wrote a letter to her neighbors explaining the plans for the day care. Gates said she invited them to come tour the facility, but other than Village Board members, no one has taken her up on the offer.

Gates said she has also taken the plan for an outdoor play space off the table for now. As for concerns about rodents and varmints, Gates said her staff gets rid of waste in the best way possible, and that her business is “immaculate” when it comes to cleanliness.

Several East Aurora business owners applauded Gates and her effort to bring a new business to the village.

Yvonne Evilsizor has owned Taste, a coffee shop on Main Street, for the past 26 years. She said she has watched the community grow and get better.

“We’ve had some tough times, we have had some empty stores,” she said. “Right now, we are overflowing with great businesses that make this community the best community it can be.”

Evilsizor became emotional as she talked about the passion East Aurora business owners have for not just their businesses, but for the community.

“When we make decisions, our heart is trying to make decisions on what’s best for the community as well as ourselves.” Evilsizor said she supports Gates’ idea for the day care.

“You know they’re not scummy people who are trying to go around and hurt us in any way,” she said, encouraging the community to help keep small businesses both growing and going.

David Roberts operates his small engine repair shop in the same building as Tres Chic Pet Boutique. He defended Gates, saying his business creates much more noise than a few barking dogs. He pointed out how he uses chainsaws and revs motorcycles up and down the street as he works to fix them.

“This is an industrial neighborhood; this makes an excessive amount of noise during business hours,” he said. “Anybody who moves within the vicinity of this knows that this exists. I don’t feel the basis of a complaint on noise is justified in an industrial neighborhood.”

However, not everyone agreed.

Al McCabe, a former Village Board member who lives near the proposed day care, came to the meeting armed with documents.

“I’m trying to get a fair shake for the residents of the community,” he said

McCabe told the board he received several items in the mail from the board about the project, including a letter from the owners, a letter from the village, a survey and a special use permit.

“We’re supposed to understand what the intent of the application for a special use permit is?” he said. “The letter comes to the people [and] you’ve got to expect them to be upset. ... They don’t have enough information to understand what [the Gateses] are trying to do.”

McCabe, a businessman for 30 years, reiterated that he and the neighbors are not against businesses.

“What we’re against is getting little information, empty promises, nothing happening. It has to be in writing. We have to understand what you want to do.”

He stressed that East Aurora is a great community and he brings clients there all the time.

“If you want to be a part of that, you have to involve the community. You can’t just send us letters promoting your business.”

The board is scheduled to make a decision on the proposal during the next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, July 17.

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