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Approve an amendment to the ordinance of the M-1 district to allow specific indoor animal care facilities.

This petition had 508 supporters

We, the ownership of Your Dog’s Guru, Inc. (YDG) recently petitioned an amendment to the Village of Northfield’s M-1 (light industry zone) such that we may establish a dog training center within its confines.

The petition has met opposition from concerned members of the community who have made their worries public in a recent edition of the Winnetka Current. We would like to emphasize that not only do we share these attendant concerns but also we consider it paramount to minimize their sources in the establishment of our training center. Furthermore, in the interest of promoting transparency, we feel that it’s important to clarify one of the discussion’s potentially misleading terms.

The word “kennel” is used in the zoning document to describe locations that house more than four dogs. This is a necessary, legal definition, and to this tune the YDG training center is a kennel. However, “kennel” is also a loaded term invoking the image of outdoor wire fencing and the roar of dozens of barking dogs held in close quarters. YDG’s training center is not this type of operation. 

It runs contrary to the very ethos of our business, which is to promote the mental and physical health of our canine companions through behavior training and community education. We have been delivering ‘dog safety’ presentations for at least four years to children at Northfield’s Middlefork School, schools in Highland Park and the local Boy Scouts. We consider community responsibility vital to our collective understanding and respect of dogs as companions.

Our facility exists to train people and their dogs, be they pets of community members or potential therapy/service animals. The plans for the training center DO NOT include noisy outdoor areas, but are instead indoor with military grade soundproofing systems employed to prevent noise pollution. To minimize odors outside and in the training center, we plan to integrate indoor plumbing for waste disposal. Extra fencing and on-premises personnel provide for public safety as well as the safety of the dogs. Furthermore, while some worry about potential decline in property value, historical property values around similar, local facilities do not support this concern.

Please, bear in mind that we live alongside you in the community and share your concerns. Property value decline would hurt us both as residents and as business owners. We will do everything in our power to ensure that our facility does exactly the opposite.

Thank you for your consideration and support,
Your Dog's Guru

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