Sun, Dec. 08

New humane society on its way

The City of Cottonwood gave a second and final reading Tuesday for a zone change for a 3.2-acre site off West Mingus Avenue -- bringing the Verde Valley Humane Society one step closer to expanding.

The land will be officially rezoned 30 days after Tuesday's reading. City Clerk Marianne Jimenez said the project has already been approved by Cottonwood Planning and Zoning Commission and the design review board. Therefore, once rezoned, the humane society can apply for construction permits and start building.

Plans are to expand the facility by four times its current size with a new 8,000-square-foot building, internal courtyard, veterinarian clinic, caretaker's apartment and other kennel-related rooms and services.

The action taken Tuesday changes the 3.2-acre site from AR-43 (Agricultural/Residential) to I-2 (Heavy Industrial). The current facility is located on land zoned I-2. The City of Cottonwood owns the land and is leasing it to the humane society.

According to a staff memo by Community Development Director George Gehlert, "The site is part of a larger complex of parcels owned by the City of Cottonwood."

Some of the issues identified regarding the facility include noise and screening. Since the facility is bordered by residentially zoned property, The planning and zoning commission as well as the council has discussed these issues with the architect.

Architect Michael Meldrum has said that the way the building is set up, with the fresh-air kennels opening into the interior courtyard, creates a "sound barrier for any barking dogs."

Adequate screening has been addressed as well.

The new Verde Valley Humane Society will include:

*A new 8,000 square-foot building with an internal open-air courtyard area (Fresh-air kennels will open into the courtyard)

o An intake and isolation area (This will be in the refurbished existing building)

o Kennel space for 40 dogs and 60 cats

o Birthing room

o Grooming room

o Veterinarian clinic

o Education room with outside entrance for community meetings

o Caretaker's apartment

o Rooms to get acquainted with possible future pets

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