Dog kennel pitched before Hadley Planning Board

  • Hadley Town Hall GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Monday, January 03, 2022

HADLEY — A kennel that would provide a home for rescued dogs to stay before being adopted may be built near the town’s transfer station.

Jenny Franz, founder of Better Together Dog Rescue in Belchertown, told the Planning Board last week that she is considering buying two undeveloped lots on a gravel section of North Branch Road, a street situated between Cemetery Road and the Connecticut River, to move forward with the project.

“I’m looking for a place to build my community-based dog shelter,” Franz said. “It would be a place to house and rescue and adopt out dogs.”

Before she can pursue the project, Franz said she has to make sure there is sufficient street frontage for the lots, located on opposite sides of the road. Her purchase also is contingent on receiving a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Under the preliminary concept, there would be room for 16 dogs in a building on one lot, and on the other would be the outdoor play area for the pets.

Planning Board Clerk William Dwyer said kennels and veterinary offices are allowed in the agricultural/ residential zone by special permit.

“This is pretty much a kennel,” Dwyer said.

Planners also advised Franz that there are homes not too far away on Cemetery Road and West Street. She responded that she is not trying to put anyone out with the project and needs to be in an accessible place that is not totally off the beaten path.

Franz said she is eager to get the building up so more dogs can be rescued and the community can be involved. In addition, Franz said she hopes the site can be a place to engage people in projects, such as vaccine clinics, a mobile food pantry, and a free store.

Battery project approved

In other business before the Planning Board, planners approved battery storage, 40-foot long concrete pads and poles that will be associated with the existing solar projects near Hampshire Mall.

Nexamp Inc. is looking to add the battery backups for the 4.63-megawatt project that covers more than 15 acres of farmland off Westgate Center Drive.

The board previously approved the solar project in May 2017 and in August 2019 agreed to allow the battery backup installation.

Mickey Marcus, principal with SWCA Environmental Consultants in Amherst, said energy companies get a little more money for projects if they add the battery backup. The batteries allow energy to be stored and then released to the grid at night.

The project is not in the town’s aquifer, meaning that the batteries could use ethylene glycol cooled systems.

Rather than requiring the batteries use propylene glycol, planners asked that the concrete pad have curbs for any containment of spills.