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Kennel Wants to Pamper Pets

Dulles Gateway Kennels in Chantilly wants to expand.

When it comes to pet care, people don't pussyfoot around. Only the best will do for Fluffy and Fido. So Dulles Gateway Kennels in Chantilly wants to expand to have more room for pampering.

Attorney Charlie Shumate presented the plan Tuesday to the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee. The kennel has been here since 1979 and, six years ago, it went before the Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) and Board of Supervisors for a rezoning so it could modernize and upgrade its facility.

IT WAS approved in 2001, and now the building has 26,500 square feet housing a veterinary hospital, inside kennel for up to 350 animals and associated uses. Since then, said Shumate, "The dynamics of pet care have changed dramatically. Now, there are pet resorts and spas."

"People really care about their animals," he continued. "When they go away, they want their pets to have TVs, music and larger rooms. And they want to be able to see by video connection to their computer how their dog is doing. It's big business."

As a result, Dulles Gateway Kennels is requesting an additional 15,000 square feet on its second floor. A mezzanine was previously planned there, but the new proposal would give the business more space to care for its customers' beloved dogs and cats.

The confines of the building and its uses will remain the same. But, said Shumate, "We want to be able to use the space more effectively, so we're asking for more square footage. And [county] staff has no issues with it."

WFCCA's Scott Miller of the nearby Pleasant Valley community asked if the change would "increase the light pollution or noise that we hear from your kennel now?"

Shumate said it wouldn't. "There'll be no more animals or outside runs added," he said. "And the lights will have to meet Fairfax County's latest regulations. We just want to finish our second floor."

WFCCA approved the request, subject to final staff approval. Only Miller voted against it. The matter goes to the Planning Commission on Oct. 18.