Dog training

Extension of the Winsted PZC OKs dog training center, with conditions


WINSTED – The Planning and Zoning Commission has approved plans to expand a dog training center, but with many conditions meant to protect the neighbors of the facility.

The PZC asked the public for comment on the decision before voting unanimously to approve the project’s site plan, requiring trained dogs assisting the disabled to apply for a special exception use permit to carry out the work.

Dale Picard, owner of ECAD, said he thought he was “ready” and was ready to start the expansion.

“I tried to start the concrete project at the bottom of the driveway near the dumpsters a few weeks ago, and as soon as I did, the neighbors called the land use planning office and they told me I had to stop, “he said.

The commission asked for public comment before voting on the sitemap after being advised by attorney Kevin Nelligan, the town’s legal advisor.

“Under the rules, you can’t settle a zoning decision without a vote,” Nelligan said. “So you vote on the proposed settlement with a public hearing. “

“The purpose of the hearing was not to plead or argue, but to decide whether or not this should be dealt with with a special exception use permit,” said PZC chairman George Closson.

The June 4 commission proposed that ECAD request the special exception before submitting the site plan. “This (proposal) was considered a refusal, but it was not,” said Closson.

The committee voted on Tuesday to approve the plan with conditions, including requiring an erosion-proof fence around the building during construction; that the applicant immediately obtain a building permit; that the ECAD have an engineer who studies the water quality every year; that the opening hours of the ECAD be from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day; that the roof has a non-reflective material on its surface; that landscaping be used to dampen noise from the building; that the new building has a safe for emergency access; and that the applicant will have a performance bond on the project in place for five years.

The commission also decided that the ECAD during the project should replace all dead plants.

ECAD is constructing a second building next to its original 25-year-old facility on Newfield Road, where it breeds golden retrievers and trains them to be service dogs for people with disabilities, PTSD or problems with health. Dogs are bred at the ECAD, then bred and trained by foster families until they are old enough to begin training to be a service dog. Once placed with a client, they undergo further training before graduating and moving to a new home.

The building will have indoor kennels, an expanded training area and additional offices, according to the site plan. The exterior part of the project requires new plantings and fences as well as a new driveway leading to a larger parking lot next to the buildings.

When ECAD proposed its expansion, neighbors objected, saying it was noisy, there was too much traffic on Newfield Road, and disturbing their homes and the wetlands that were flooded. But the installation is allowed, according to the Winsted regulations.