By Lyonel Doherty
Despite one complaint, it was smooth sailing for an animal rescue operation in council chambers on Monday.
Joeline Laliberte was granted a two-year temporary use permit (TUP) to legally operate a cat and dog rescue shelter at 5829 Sawmill Road.
Councillor Aimee Grice said she has never seen such a profound community response to the operation.
“The need for this service has been proven.”
Town council learned that the issue actually came to light due to a complaint from someone in the rural area (not from the neighbourhood).
The Town’s animal control bylaw states that residents can only have two dogs and two cats per property. But being an animal shelter, the operation in question would ultimately have more animals than that. So technically, it has been operating illegally.
Councillor Dave Mattes asked if there was a potential for the animals to take up permanent residency on the property.
Development services director Randy Houle said if the same animals continued their stay beyond a few days or a week, there would be concerns leading to a zoning infraction and bylaw enforcement. He noted if the animals were living there long-term, the operation would not be deemed a rescue anymore.
But Councillor Larry Schwartzenberger agreed with Grice, saying it’s a needed service that would have a minimal impact in that location.
Mayor Martin Johansen said his only concern is what happens if, after a year, the operation is not working to council’s (and the public’s) expectations?
Houle said temporary use permits typically last three years, but staff thought two years was an appropriate time frame.
He said staff believe the property owner is very responsible and don’t see it as a concern.
The application was approved unanimously.