A husband and wife who want to operate a commercial dog kennel in Erda are headed back to the Tooele County Planning Commission to request a conditional use permit be amended before the permit expires in two months.
At the Tooele County Commission’s Nov. 15 business meeting, deputy county attorney Gary Searle told the commissioners a one-year extension they granted to Greg and Darnell Ghidotti of 1382 E. Erda Way last August can’t be done because county ordinance only allows a six-month extension.
The Ghidottis originally received the CUP from the county planning commission in April 2015. It includes 22 conditions the couple must complete before their facility can go into operation. Last May the Ghidottis asked the planning commission for an extension because they had delayed work on the kennel because of pending civil litigation against the kennel. Although litigation had not yet been resolved, the Ghidottis said they will proceed to build the kennel over the summer.
But the planning commission denied the Ghidottis’ request because it found the extension was not in the public interest. The Ghidottis appealed to the county commissioners, who granted an extension last August.
The Ghidottis did not rigorously contest the loss of the one-year extension at last week’s meeting, but expressed frustration working with Tooele County while trying to move forward with their kennel. Darnell Ghidotti called the experience “a nightmare” while trying to build a business that will “do good in the community” and “help people with their pets.”
“This just isn’t fair,” said Greg Ghidotti, who noted he and his wife have had 10 dogs on their property without incident since they moved there. He said there are neighbors who have more animals on their property than he and his wife do.
Searle told the commissioners their options are to tell the Ghidottis they can or cannot have 10 dogs on the property while the couple moves forward to satisfy all 22 requirements of the conditional use permit. He said the county cannot concern itself with the civil action suit against the Ghidottis by a neighbor.
Darnell Ghidotti told the commissioners she and her husband have completed 20 of the 22 conditions of the permit. What hasn’t been completed is getting a kennel license and constructing a 6-foot high concrete wall around an outdoor dog run. She said the license will be obtained, but her facility doesn’t have an outdoor dog run.
“I do not maintain outdoor kennel runs in my facility,” she said. “So I do not understand why this should be upheld. I am complying with the permit in every aspect, except those two. And I will clear one up [the kennel license] this week.”
Searle told the commissioners the Ghidottis can ask the planning commission to amend the conditional use permit if the outdoor dog run is not needed or not part of the operation. He said the conditional use permit could be amended to drop the concrete wall if it can be shown there will be no additional impact on neighbors and the community.
He said the Ghidottis are responsible to file that request with the planning commission and must prove eliminating the concrete wall will have no impact. If the planning commission agrees, the Ghidottis will then be in compliance and can move forward with their kennel, he said.
Searle also said if the Ghidottis do not file the request and their conditional use permit is not amended, then they will be out of compliance and options in two months. The six-month extension will expire and the couple can’t move forward with their kennel, he added.
Commission chairman Wade Bitner clarified for the record if the Ghidottis do not get the conditional use permit amended by the end of the six-month extension, then the permit will expire and they will have to reduce the number of dogs on their property from 10 to three.
Darnell Ghidotti indicated she will file the request and comply with Bitner’s clarification. The couple’s home and kennel are located in the Country Lane Ranchette Subdivision.