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Conditional use permit for kennel denied

The Pahrump Regional Planning Commission unanimously denied a reconsideration and modification of a conditional use permit for a commercial kennel located in a residential area after hearing numerous comments and an emotional testimony from the business employees on Thursday.

Vasili Platunov, who has been operating Est-Alfa K-9 Security Service on a 2-acre lot located at 2790 E. Camellia St., in Pahrump since 2010, recently applied for a reconsideration of a conditional use permit that would allow him to house 150 dogs on his property.

"Even so, staff does not feel that 150 dogs in the area to zoning district is appropriate," Nye County Planner Beth Lee said in a staff report. "The use can be disturbing to neighboring properties and staff does not feel this is a substantial improvement considering the potentially illegal construction and that the property owner has increased the number of dogs four times without approvals. And therefore, staff is recommending denial of the request of modification to 150 dogs, and also staff has received numerous letters in opposition to this application."

Platunov can appeal the decision to the Nye County Commission within the next 30 days.

Officials also said a number of kennel structures were also completed without the department of planning's review with approval or with building review and permits.

In addition to breeding guard, patrol and detection dogs, Est-Alfa K-9 Security Service also offers foster and boarding services for dogs with issues. Platunov currently has over 130 dogs on his property.

In an emotional testimony, Oksana Higgins, operations manager at Est-Alfa K-9 Security Service who spoke on behalf of Platunov, told the commission about the dramatic increase of the number of dogs that had occurred within the last 5-6 years due to people dropping off or refusing to pick up their dogs.

"We are planning and trying to find good homes for our dogs," Higgins said.

"We are not asking for any support, we are not asking for anything special. We would try to comply with all requests from the planning (department). Let us keep our dogs. And right now, I know people complain about barking, but I don't think that it's really a big difference between 30 dogs barking or 100 dogs barking," she added.

While officials praised the kennel's conditions, several neighbors complained about noise, odor and the devaluation of the surrounding properties. Pahrump resident Paula Glidden, who lives within 3 miles of the kennel, played the sound of dogs barking that she had recorded on her cellphone.

"It's become a real problem and a real noise," Glidden said. "Furthermore, my grandchildren live with me and they can't walk over there, they can't bike over there. We did that about a year ago, she and I took a walk, (and) we actually ran home because all the dogs charged the fence and we were scared quite honestly. It's impossible to walk around there."

"So, they are driving down property values, it's a real burden to people that own property down there," Glidden said.

According to records, Nye County Animal Control hasn't received any complaints about the property in a few years and Platunov has been in compliance with the inspections and other requirements.

"I believe the applicant does a very good job maintaining his facility, his business, which is the exact issue where it is a business in a residential area," said Gregory Hafen, vice chairman of the commission. "I also would like to point out that we are not here to look at whether or not he does a good job running his facility. It's the location of the facility and will it ruin the property forever. So,100 years down the road, the future use of this area will be developed into a residential neighborhood and the person after the current applicant, should they give up to 150 dogs on a 2-acre parcel in a heavily residential area. That's the question, and not if the applicant does a good job of maintaining it or not."

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @dariasokolova77

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