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A licensed doggie day care is on its way to South Middleton Township.

On Thursday night, township supervisors approved a conditional use request by canine professional Rachel Horenstein to open the Rugged Oak Canine Camp at 20 Woodcrafters Drive, located just off Mill Street outside Mount Holly Springs in the township. Supervisors made the decision after concluding a public hearing on Thursday that was continued from last month.

A dog care facility is permitted in the light industrial zone area with conditional use approval from the township.

“I feel very passionate about this,” Horenstein told supervisors. “I’ve received lots of community support. There’s no other dog care facility in South Middleton Township.”

“If you’re as successful with this business as you are with this presentation, you’ll be very successful,” board member Rick Reighard said.

For now, Horenstein plans to run her business for one to 15 dogs with assistance from her mother, Ellen Heckert. However, Horenstein said she will need to hire more help if her canine clientele grows as she plans. The facility is capable of accommodating up to 44 dogs and will be inspected twice yearly by the state Department of Agriculture to maintain its license.

Indoor facility

Horenstein plans to rent about half of a pre-existing building on the site from Woodcraft Properties LLC, providing a ratio of one dog per 150 square feet. Since the business will be run on an indoor basis, noise levels aren’t expected to exceed that of heavy machinery run by the previous tenant. The business’s main room is “completely insulated against sounds” through the use of rubber flooring and insulation, Heckert said on Thursday, while a second, infrequently used section will be partially insulated. A rear section that is farthest from the road will remain uninsulated.

Dog waste will be collected in bedded litter areas situated in each of the facility’s five play areas, later transported to landfills in biodegradable bags. In fact, all products used by the facility, including “pet-friendly” cleaners, will be biodegradable, Horenstien said.

Rugged Oak Canine Camp is expected to run Mondays through Saturdays from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. with some overnight boarding. The business will open after Horenstein obtains state licensing and completes building renovations, a process that mostly likely will take at least a few months. Horenstein first needed to obtain township approval for the building use before she could apply for an operating license.

Other news

In other news, supervisors tabled a proposal by Scott Akens of Akens Engineering Inc. to close a portion of South Spring Garden Street in the township for the installation of a quarry conveyor belt.

In May 2017, township supervisors approved a revised conditional use request by Union Quarries Inc. at 101 Bonnybrook Road for the construction of a new stone processing plant and internal access drive that will replace the company’s existing stone crusher. Under the revised plan, crushed stone product will be conveyed across the quarry for further processing and stockpiling through an underground tunnel located beneath South Spring Garden Street instead of using public streets.

The underground tunnel is intended to reduce neighborhood traffic tie-ups caused by quarry transport trucks. The new stone crusher will be on the east side of South Spring Garden Street in the same area as the existing crusher.

“Truck crossings will be significantly cut down with the conveyer belt,” supervisor Tom Faley said. “This is a good step forward for safety reasons.”

However, board president Bryan Gembusia said he didn’t want to finalize the road closure until Akens checks with the Carlisle and South Middleton school districts about any potential school bus routes that would be disrupted.

The board next plans to review the road closure proposal on Feb. 8.


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