New $6 million animal shelter gets greenlight for former farmland in Augusta

Kennebec Valley Humane Society’s proposed new 19,000-sq.-foot facility received Augusta Organizing Board approval Tuesday evening. It will be crafted on 77 acres of land it owns at 168 Leighton Street in Augusta. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal file

AUGUSTA — A proposal to develop a new 19,100-sq.-foot, $6 million animal shelter on former farmland has been unanimously authorized by the Scheduling Board.

Construction of the new Kennebec Valley Humane Society headquarters at 168 Leighton Road, which would replace what officials reported is their out-of-date facility on Pet Haven Lane off Western Avenue, could start off in late summer season or early slide and be completely ready to residence homeless animals about a 12 months following that.

The new facility, permitted by the Setting up Board on Tuesday, is planned to arrive with “dog-height” home windows so adoptable pooches can see outside the house kennel and other animal spots built to enable minimize anxiety in adoptable animals and a lot of area where general public vaccination clinics and other neighborhood expert services can be provided.

The new constructing would be on a 77-acre parcel of former farmland, about 11 acres of which will be developed with the new animal shelter and 58 parking areas. Officers estimate the facility will offer a lot additional area that would allow for for expanded products and services and programming beyond what can be provided now at the humane society’s 12,000-sq.-foot making. It’s existing facility sits on a little parcel of land the modern society does not own.

“We’re constructing a new facility since our present facility is out-of-date. We have stressful, outdated kennels … and we really do not basically possess the land we’re on,” Hillary Roberts, government director of the shelter that is been in Augusta given that 1927, instructed the Preparing Board on Tuesday. “The 77-acre plot we bought is really a promise to the potential of the group. We’re excited about growing our providers and currently being equipped to offer solutions to the general public, matters we can’t do in our latest facility, like significant volume spay/neuter, community access to rabies vaccinations, things like plan vaccinations for animals we want to offer in our local community. We want to be not just an animal shelter, but a local community heart.”

The shelter’s current facility is developed on land that was deeded to it by the Davis family, entrepreneurs of the Pine Tree Veterinary Medical center, which is adjacent to the latest facility. The humane society can’t offer the assets, which will revert again to the loved ones when the shelter moves.

The proposal confronted no opposition in Tuesday’s big development review and public listening to right before the Augusta Scheduling Board, and only a few questions.

An artist’s rendering reveals the proposed new Kennebec Valley Humane Modern society facility on Leighton Road in Augusta. Image courtesy of Peter Bethanis

Cathy Cobb, board member, requested about sound degrees and whether, with the chance of barking dogs, the shelter would be equipped to keep in just city ordinance demands that cap decibel degrees at assets strains.

Peter Bethanis, architect on the task, explained the setting up was created with barking canines in mind, and is built with walls in the seem transmission course of 55, which he stated is substantial sufficient that “if you and I ended up likely to have a loud, loud, hollering conversation you would not listen to it.”

He stated a complicated element about limiting noise was balancing that goal with the objective of acquiring substantial home windows extending down lower plenty of so that puppies in their kennels can see exterior. He reported that would be dealt with with inserts that will be place in home windows that should triple their sound attenuation effectiveness and make it so anyone outside the house the constructing, even in the region around the puppy kennels, would only hear a muffled barking audio.

He said the facility’s outdoor pet pens need to be considerably more than enough absent from the assets strains that neighbors won’t be equipped to hear barking from the web site.

A couple of single-relatives homes are across the road from the web site, which is otherwise surrounded by companies.

Cobb claimed her concerns have been about sound at the house line, and mentioned she agreed it appeared like the region in which pet dogs will be held is much plenty of absent from abutters that barking sound shouldn’t achieve them. She joined her fellow board customers in voting in favor of the challenge.

“I feel it’s a great task, you know, best for that piece of land,” said board member Peter Pare. The challenge web page is the former Curtis Primary loved ones farm, where a single-family dwelling and farm structures had been demolished in 2019.

An artist’s rendering reveals the proposed new Kennebec Valley Humane Modern society facility on Leighton Road in Augusta. Photograph courtesy of Peter Bethanis

The web site straddles two metropolis zones, Prepared Enhancement and Rural River, and the use is permitted in people zones, according to Betsy Poulin, town planner. The new shelter will be accessed by using the existing driveway, which will be enhanced, and 58 parking areas will be close to the developing. Out of doors puppy physical exercise spots will be positioned to the north of the creating.

Ponds will be included to the web-site to acquire stormwater, and obtaining a stormwater permit from the point out Section of Environmental Protection, a procedure officers mentioned is by now underway, is a problem of the board’s acceptance.

The unused part of the residence will be offered for the shelter’s several volunteers to just take pet dogs on walks, and a area on the web page will keep on to be harvested for hay in a partnership with a close by farm, Roberts said.

The $6 million task will be compensated for with fundraising attempts. The organization by now has extra than $4 million in donations fully commited to the task, which includes a $2 million reward from longtime shelter supporters Charlie and Nancy Shuman, their spouse and children, and their Augusta-centered car or truck dealership, Charlie’s Household of Dealerships. Roberts reported that is the major reward the shelter has ever been given.

Roberts said animals, typically pet dogs and cats but at times rabbits, birds and pocket animals, like smaller rodents and mammals, occur to the shelter in 3 ways: As surrenders from area community associates as strays located in the place and by a partnership with a rescue business in the southern portion of the state which transports animals “from extremely superior-kill shelters and delivers then up listed here so in its place of being euthanized they are positioned in the arms of families in the better Augusta community. When those adorable canines and puppies occur up, we have a line out the door, we have to hand out tickets for people who line up for them. It’s a lively adoption method.”

She mentioned the shelter sites 97% of the animals that appear into its treatment.

 


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