A local dog racing and touring kennel can continue to operate after Whitehorse city council voted to reinstate its business license subject to conditions.
At council’s Dec. 13 meeting, members ratified a vote made at an in-camera session following an appeal from Into the Wild Adventures after their business license was revoked by the city.
Into the Wild Adventures operates dog sledding tours from its Fish Lake Road property. In August, the business license was revoked over issues of non-compliance with the city’s zoning bylaw and noise complaints. The owners of the kennel – Marine Gastard and Matthieu Renner – appealed it to council, with a hearing held Dec. 9, followed by the in-camera vote that was then confirmed at the Dec. 13 meeting.
Mayor Laura Cabott outlined the conditions that will have to be met including getting proper approvals from the city for a warming hut and outhouse and, in the case of the outhouse, approval from the territorial government’s Department of Health and Social Services before they can be used for the business. The business must also be operated “in accordance with the noise provisions of the maintenance bylaw” and cease operations by April 15, 2022.
The owners have indicated they will be moving after the winter season is done.
In bringing forward the conditions, Cabott stated that it was a 4-3 vote by council in favour of reinstating the business license with the conditions. She and councillors Kirk Cameron, Ted Laking and Mellisa Murray voted in favour of the conditional reinstatement, while councillors Dan Boyd, Jocelyn Curteanu and Michelle Friesen voted against.
In an administrative report that went to council ahead of the Dec. 9 hearing, details on the notices of violation are highlighted going back to 2017. No building inspections were requested for the structures and no approvals for occupancy were issued, though the owners had been issued building permits for some structures.
In an interview following the Dec. 13 council meeting, Cabott said while some efforts had been made to meet the requirements, it didn’t end up happening.
“Some of these matters haven’t been addressed for quite some time,” she said. “It’s really around safety.”
She said it’s extremely rare for the city to revoke a business license, as staff will try to work with the business owner to address any issues.
“I think there was a lot of effort on behalf of the city staff to help the appellants to comply,” she said.
The council decision states that city staff “conducted all reasonable due diligence and at all times acted appropriately.”
The city will be providing Into the Wild Adventures with a written decision including the conditions to be met.
In a Dec. 14 interview, owner Marine Gastard said she is pleased council seems to have listened to her for the kennel to stay in place until next April, when she and her family will be moving outside of city limits.
She noted the buildings on the site were in place when she and her family moved there.
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