Esperance council to decide future of dog grooming business

Ms Powell's lot on Burton Road where she has been operating a dog grooming business. Photo: Shire of Esperance.
Ms Powell's lot on Burton Road where she has been operating a dog grooming business. Photo: Shire of Esperance.

An award winning dog groomer and single mother has pleaded with the Esperance council to allow her to continue operating her home business.

Castletown woman Louise Powell's property at 108, Burton Road was investigated and it was found she was operating the grooming business without shire approval.

She was told she needed to obtain a development approval, which she applied for on September 26.

In her application, Ms Powell said dog grooming was her passion and only source of income for herself and three children.

At a council briefing today, Tuesday, November 19, she told councillors she only had three to four dogs come in three to four days a week.

Ms Powell also said she had won an award in Perth and promoted Esperance as she travelled for work.

She promised to further sound-proof her home to address concerns about barking.

Ms Powell said her home business allowed her to spend more time looking after her children.

"I don't want to leave my children from 7am to 7pm," she said.

Ms Powell said she had operated the business without shire approval due to a "misconception".

The shire had advertised her application to neighbours between October 4 to 18. There were two objections and four letters of support. A complaint was also received on November 7.

A letter from Jacki and Richard Dreckow expressed 'strong objection' to Ms Powell's application.

They asked council to consider that Ms Powell had started the business without shire approval or telling her neighbours.

Mrs Dreckow said her husband was a shift worker and Ms Powell's dogs were already 'quite loud' and interrupted his sleep.

The Dreckow's letter also said the business had resulted in cars parking on the street and had blocked a clear view of oncoming traffic at certain points.

Another objection from Peter Hoffrichter states the area had enough dogs without more being brought in for grooming.

A complaint from Noeline Bull claimed there was 'constant barking' from Ms Powell's home and this was setting off other dogs in the area. Ms Bull also claimed the business was providing kennels for dogs to stay in.

Ms Powell told council cars were parked on the street due to a nearby school and these vehicles were not from clients. She said she did not offer a kennel service, but clients would 'explore Esperance' while their dogs were groomed for several hours.

Ms Powell's proposed home business is in a zoned 'Residential' area

In his recommendation to council, Shire manager of strategic planning Richard Hindley found the business would have an adverse impact on the amenity of the neighborhood due to increased noise and traffic. He wrote the business was 'incompatible' with a residential area and was better suited to the industrial zone.

Mr Hindley told council, while the shire staff had recommended council reject Ms Powell's application, the shire had also outlined options such as approving it with conditions.

Council is set to vote on the matter on Tuesday, November 26.