K9 Cribs team working towards reducing noise

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    K9 Cribs owners Kim Findlay and Daryn Chalmers with two of the dogs in their care, Furever Homes dogs Kenny (left) and Mater who need new homes.

    AS the business has grown, so, too, has the noise of barking dogs coming from K9 Cribs dog boarding and day care facility in Invercargill.

    Invercargill City Council (ICC) staff began receiving complaints about the noise from the site in September last year.

    In response to the complaints, the owners of K9 Cribs, Daryn Chalmers and Kim Findlay, have invested thousands of dollars in noise mitigation measures.

    “We are not here to upset anybody,” they said. “We are here to create a lifestyle for ourselves and help some dogs along the way.”

    They prepared a noise management plan for their facility which was included in an abatement notice issued on June 2, and were given until August 24 to implement it.

    All work in the abatement notice had been completed, including planting dense vegetation, fully insulating the entire 700sqm boarding facility and erecting an acoustic fence.

    Mr Chalmers said the noise mitigation measures had so far cost “five figures”.

    They still intended to erect a more solid fence on the north side of the property to reduce the stimulus for the dogs and put in a solid ceiling inside the building to further reduce noise, he said.

    K9 Cribs is located at 120 Findlay Rd. The site is in a rural zone in which an animal boarding facility was a permitted activity, but it is adjacent a residential zone, with the nearest residential dwelling just over 50m from the property.

    Findlay Rd resident Barbara Carlaw said her issue was with the council allowing a boarding kennel to be built there in the first place.

    “Because the council changed the district plan in 2005, there are no longer any rules to govern how a boarding kennel is operated around a residential area.”

    K9 Cribs was set up in 2006, and taken over by its current owners in June 2012.

    Mr Chalmers said when they bought the business it had about 30 dogs, but they were now averaging 59 dogs per day. The pair also owned 15 personal dogs which lived permanently on the site.

    Because the property was zoned rural, there was no limit on the number of dogs which could be on the site at any one time, but they had set a self-imposed limit of 80 dogs, he said.

    ICC environmental health team leader Muriel Rusike said the owners had been “very proactive” in trying to resolve the noise issues.

    Council staff were now monitoring noise from K9 Cribs twice a day and a further assessment would be undertaken in January to determine how effective the additional measures taken by the owners had been.

    “It is a big issue and it will take time, but it is our job to make sure they comply with the district plan.”

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