The building on Metcalf where the new pet daycare would have been located. Photo credit Johnson County Appraiser’s Office.In a victory for neighbors but a setback for pet owners in new downtown apartments, Overland Park denied a permit for a pet boarding facility and day care with outdoor play area close to downtown.The facility proposed for 7620 Metcalf Avenue, would have been a second location for Two Dogs and a Cat, owned by John Cavalcanti. He said afterward he would start looking for a different location rather than remove the outdoor play area, which had been the main sticking point.Council members took an hour and a half and four votes to turn the project down. Several neighbors, who had filed a valid protest petition, also waited through to the end of an otherwise long meeting to urge denial vote.“Pretty much everybody, including Mr. Cavalcanti, would stand up here and be in my shoes if it was going across the street from his house,” said Matt Van Becelaere, who owns property nearby.The area in question is a mixture, with some businesses and homes. The neighbors live across Floyd Street, some within 200 feet of the play area.Cavalcanti had asked for a five-year special use permit to allow overnight boarding and the outdoor play area, which would have been buffered with a solid wall of about nine feet. The facility would have a capacity for 90 animals, but Cavalcanti said only around 20 to 25 would be outside in the play area at any one time.He stressed that well-trained staff assess dogs for aggression before allowing them in the play zone. The barking is also curbed by the wall because it limits the dogs’ visual triggers, and classical music is played to soothe them as well, he said.Still neighbors doubted that the dogs in the outdoor area would be quiet. They worried about being able to open their windows in warm weather or that the barking would trigger their own dogs to bark.Several council members said they did some freelance research on the subject by visiting other dog facilities to listen for noise. Based on that, some council members sided with the neighbors. “I don’t agree with the applicant that those dogs are not going to bark,” said Councilmember Paul Lyons. “I’ve never seen 25 dogs together not making a bunch of noise.”“I would not want to live across the street and listen to that,” said Councilmember Terry Happer Scheier. “I had a dog next door for years that drove me frickin’ insane, barked every time I walked in the back yard. I know what it’s like.”However Councilmember Jim Kite, who noise-tested a pet facility by driving past its outdoor play yard with his own dog leaning out the car window, said he heard no barking response. There are permit rules already in place to deal with neighborhood complaints, he said, and Cavalcanti knows it’s in his best interest to keep the neighbors happy. “I think we could make this work,” Kite said.Those thoughts were echoed by Dale Griffin, owner of the building the pet facility would be moving into. Griffin also noted five units in that building have been vacant for about a year.While council members sided with the neighbors, they also acknowledged that there will be a need for more pet friendly facilities once the new downtown apartments fill up. Market Lofts, The Vue, Avenue 80 and 81 and Interurban Lofts will start an influx of pet owners to the suddenly more densely-populated downtown. By Cavalcanti’s reckoning, there will be potentially about 600 new pets moving into the area.The city should start looking at its pet infrastructure because of that, said Councilmember Logan Heley. There are relatively few pet boarding facilities near downtown, and dog parks are also a drive away. “Do we know what our dog policy is going to be at Thompson Park? What facilities will be at Thompson Park for pets? These are some things I hope we’re thinking about in a broader context.”Some council members told Cavalcanti they like his business, but thought the location close to homes was a bad choice. A few asked if he’d be willing to open the business without the outdoor area or on only a two-year permit, but he declined, saying the outdoor area is central to keeping the dogs on good behavior.The council briefly got hung up on procedural issues before turning the permit down. Because of the protest petition, they needed 10 votes to approve it. Overturning the planning commission’s prior approval required nine votes. After a few tries, they denied it, 9-2.
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The annual Jason Bland Memorial Tournament hosted by Airline begins Thursday.Twelve teams will be competing at five sites. Airline, Parkway and Haughton will host games Thursday through Saturday along with Byrd and Captain Shreve.Other teams competing are Benton, Southwood, Texas High, Neville, Ruston, West Ouachita and Natchitoches Central.Neville is the defending Class 4A state champion. The Tigers (3-6), who open play against Parkway (7-1) at 6 p.m. Thursday, have gotten off to a slow start this season. Benton (6-3) faces Southwood (2-5) in its first game at 4 Thursday at Airline.Airline (3-6) opens play against Texas High at 7.Haughton (4-5) faces Ruston (4-3) at 6. Haughton fell to Northwood 6-5 Monday at home after a seventh-inning rally fell just short. The Bucs trailed 6-1 after six and then scored four in the bottom of the seventh.Nick Heckman led the Bucs, going 3-for-4. Peyton Stovall had two hits. Jathon Patton and Cameron Townsend had doubles.Bossier fell to Northwood 12-2 in a District 1-4A game on Tuesday.Coleman Beeson, Devin Snipes and Preston Allen had hits for the Bearkats.Here is the schedule for the Jason Bland tournament.At AirlineThursdayBenton vs. Southwood, 4Texas High vs. Airline, 7FridayTexas High vs. Southwood, 4Neville at Airline, 7SaturdaySouthwood vs. Ruston, 10West Ouachita vs. Airline, 12:30Southwood vs. Natchitoches Central, 3Benton vs. Airline, 6At ParkwayThursdayNeville vs. Parkway, 6FridayBenton vs. Parkway, 6SaturdayTexas High vs. Parkway, 11Ruston vs. Parkway, 3At HaughtonThursdayRuston vs. Haughton, 6FridayNatchitoches Central vs. Haughton, 5SaturdayNeville vs. Haughton, 11West Ouachita vs. Haughton, 3At Captain ShreveThursdayNatchitoches Central vs. Captain Shreve, 6FridayWest Ouachita vs. Captain Shreve, 6SaturdayBenton vs. Captain Shreve, 11Texas High vs. Captain Shreve, 3At Byrd’s field at LSUSThursdayWest Ouachita vs. Byrd, 6FridayRuston vs. Byrd, 6SaturdayNatchitoches Central vs. Byrd, 11Neville vs. Byrd, 3— Russell Hedges, [email protected] Expat InsuranceExpat Living in Hong Kong without Health Insurance?Top Expat Insurance|SponsoredSponsoredUndoNews gadgetThis watch takes the whole country by storm! it’s price? Ridiculous!News gadget|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Secret Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unblock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoPerfect-Dating.comAre You Ready to Meet Cool Guys in Tung Chung?Perfect-Dating.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndoTheTopFiveVPNThe Trick Netflix Doesn’t Want You To Know To Unlock RestrictionsTheTopFiveVPN|SponsoredSponsoredUndoAspireAbove.comRemember Abby from NCIS? Take A Deep Breath Before You See How She Looks NowAspireAbove.com|SponsoredSponsoredUndo
Sepp Blatter Sepp Blatter has revealed he will step down as president of FIFA.The Swiss chief was last week re-elected for a fifth term in charge, despite coming under increasing pressure following recent revelations of ‘rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted’ corruption within the organisation.A host of high profile bosses within the game subsequently called for Blatter’s resignation, including FA chairman Greg Dyke and UEFA chief Michel Platini, who said he was disgusted by the scandal.And, in an astonishing and unexpected turn of events, Blatter has indeed called time on his 17-year reign, just four days after his re-election.Addressing a press conference gathered at the FIFA headquarters in Zurich, he called an extraordinary congress “as soon as possible”, saying “a new president will be elected to follow me”.That election is to take place at between December and March and Blatter will remain in position until then.He said: “I will organise an extraordinary congress for a replacement for me as president. I will not stand. I am now free from the constraints of an election.“I will be in a position to focus on profound reforms. For many years we have called for reforms. But these are not sufficient.“I have thoroughly considered and thought about my presidency and the last 40 years in my life. These years were closely related to FIFA and the wonderful sport of football.“I appreciate and love FIFA more than anything else. I only want to do the best for FIFA and my institution.“I felt compelled to stand for re-election, as I believed that this was the best thing for the organisation. That election is over but FIFA’s challenges are not. FIFA needs a profound overhaul.”The announcement came after FIFA admitted on Tuesday it paid $10million destined for the South Africa World Cup to an account controlled by the disgraced former vice-president Jack Warner.This payment, which followed a letter from the South African FA to FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke, is at the heart of the FIFA bribery scandal.A US justice department indictment of 18 people on corruption charges says the money was paid to Warner and his deputy Chuck Blazer in return for them voting for the 2010 World Cup to be played in South Africa.Blatter’s resignation is also sure to create uncertainty over the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, which are being hosted by Russia and Qatar respectively.A Swiss criminal investigation is investigating the bids for the two tournaments, while the report from US attorney Michael Garcia’s investigation into bidding has yet to be published in full. 1