Much of Monday night's regular meeting of the City of Mason was taken up with discussion of a conditional use permit for Reigning Cats & Dogs, a business owned by Tommy and Lenore Newsom on the west side of the square. The business is a pet goods supply store, a pet grooming business, and a pet boarding facility.
It was that final role as a kennel and boarding facility that was the point of contention, as city zoning does not allow such an operation at that location without a conditional use permit. As discussion proceeded on the request for the permit, several speakers and commissioners discussed why they either supported or opposed the request.
Dennis Evans and Ron Freytag appeared on behalf of the Odeon Preservation Association in opposing the granting of the permit. Their opposition, however, was not based upon the zoning issues; but, was instead centered on a dispute over the alley behind the Odeon and on an easement issue that the group was having with the Newsoms.
The Newsoms explained that they had followed the building and permit processes as accurately and quickly as possible; but, it became apparent that the City had failed to adequately notify the couple of zoning issues until after they were already in the process of completing their construction. Since that time, the Newsoms have followed the correct procedures to obtain the allowances needed to operate the boarding part of their business.
The City finally granted a one year conditional use permit for the kennel and will reexamine how the business has operated in the neighborhood after that time.
Another permit before the City was for Linda Williams and her dog breeding facility on the east side of town. Numerous witnesses spoke in behalf of Mrs. Williams, and the City approved her request for conditional use, and also commented that the process basically just confirmed that Mrs. Williams had an exceptional operation and that the process was a formality to verify that opinion.
In other business, the City adopted a new rate and fee schedule which will be used in the upcoming year.
They also decided to open bids in the coming weeks for the reverse osmosis water facility and bathroom at the Richard Eckert Civic center. The group voted to be part of that process rather than allowing city administrator John Palacio to handle it for them, which will require that they hold a special meeting later this month to approve or reject the bids.
The City also voted to apply for grant funds which will allow them to disassemble the water standpipe on Post Hill and move it to the northeast side of town. The standpipe will be rehabilitated and erected in that part of town where it will help with water supply and pressure issues.
The commission adjourned at 8:08 p.m.