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Gurnee approves doggy day care facility

Updated: February 5, 2013 2:11AM

Gurnee officials have approved a special-use permit for a “doggy day care” franchise that the petitioners say will improve the social life of many lonely housebound dogs during the day while their owners are at work.

A similar Central Bark Doggy Day Care franchise was operated by different ownership in the Village from 2008 to 2010, but closed for personal reasons when the owner moved from the area.

Last month, the Planning and Zoning Board reviewed plans for the new facility and recommended passage to the Village Board, but attached seven conditions.

No more than 60 dogs per day will be allowed at the day care facility, with night boarding for 25 dogs restricted only to registered day care clients.

A limit of 40 dogs are allowed in the fenced outdoor play area at any one time, requiring at least one employee to oversee the play area when dogs are present.

Limited parking concerned some on the Planning Board, as well as some village trustees.

Only eight spaces were available on the property, although there is two-hour parking on Grove Street.

Should the village determine that parking is a problem, the owners must return to the Planning and Zoning Board with a plan to correct the situation.

After considerable discussion the Village Board on Monday night agreed to grant the special-use permit to the franchise to conduct business at 3880 Grove Ave., a warehouse near Route 41 and Delany Road.Only Trustee Hank Schwarz voted against the proposal, expressing concern about the facility’s limited parking situation.

Gurnee residents and owners Layne and Ellyn Pollard told trustees Monday night that Central Bark Doggy Day Care Inc., was initially founded in Milwaukee in 1997 by a woman who recognized the possibilities of providing such a facility when she had to leave her lonely dog housebound during her absent working hours.

“Today, there are 25 such franchises in five states,” Layne Pollard said, adding he believes Gurnee will prove to be an excellent market. He said an estimated 38 percent of Gurnee’s households’ own dogs.

“Over half the local population is college educated and nearly half the households earn more than $75,000 a year, with 18 percent of those households earning over $150,000 a year,” he said.

When questioned about how the service works, Pollard said the facility’s hours will be Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with occasional weekend time utilized for dog training sessions.

Dogs will receive exercise, snacks, supervised playful socialization, and nap time during the day. Playtimes will be either indoors or outdoors, dependent upon the weather. Central Bark will also offer grooming, retail pet services, potential dog training sessions, and even pick-up and drop-off cab service.

In other action, the board congratulated the Warren Township High School Boys Soccer Team for being the state Class 3A soccer champions this year.

The Blue Devils defeated Naperville Central High School in a challenging 2-1 overtime victory last month.

The entire team and coaching staff was in attendance to accept a proclamation from Mayor Kristina Kovarik and the Village Board.

Kovarik also reminded residents that the Canadian Pacific Railroad Holiday Train will arrive in Gurnee about 4 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8.

Donations to the Northern Illinois Food Bank are encouraged.

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