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DL animal hospital to move; RV park hearings are tabled

Sick dogs and cats will have a new hospital in the future.

Drs. Tom Haggart and Jim McCormack came before the Detroit Lakes Planning Commis-sion Thursday evening to request a conditional use permit to allow the new animal hospital to be located at 1115 West River Road, the site of the soon-to-be vacant Ulteig Engineers building.

Ulteig Engineers broke ground on their new $3.1 million building in the North Industrial Park in August.

Neighbors all fully supported the project as long as there would be no outdoor kennels filled with barking dogs.

Community Development Director Larry Remmen attached three stipulations to the permit -- no outdoor kennels, runs, pens or exercise yard, not allowed to trailer in large equine or livestock, and no unattended animals outside.

McCormack said he was fine with the conditions. The animal hospital will no longer be boarding animals, and the contract with the city for stray animals will be dissolved, cutting 70 percent of the outside animals.

He said the only time animals will be outside is if a surgery patient needs exercise recovery that can't be handled indoors, and then the animals will be with a worker at all times outside.

The commission unanimously passed the motion.

Also at the planning commission meeting, the public hearings for the planned unit development and preliminary plat of River Hills RV Park were tabled due to zoning issues.

Zoned as agricultural, the property is being considered for rezoning as R-2, a medium density residential area.

"For the RA (agriculture) district, I think we should take a long look at eliminating RA from the city entirely," said commission member Harry Johnston.

He suggested that at the Jan. 23 planning commission meeting, the group should take a look at rezoning the River Hills RV Park area to R-2. The commission voted in favor of the proposal. He suggested the group take a look in the future at rezoning all incoming agriculture-zoned land into the city.

"Agriculture (zoning) makes it sound like I'm going to have a feedlot in my backyard," Johnston said.