A fence will eventually be built around this former
school house at the intersection of
Port Washington and Lakefield roads.
Photo by Mark
GRAFTON — A new dog day care
business slated for the old schoolhouse property in the town of
Grafton has received the go-ahead.
The town of Grafton Plan Commission approved a conditional use
permit last week for Bill Schaut, who applied to start a dog day
care business at 1206 Lakefield Road. The 1846 schoolhouse has been
vacant for six years, since the Chiselled Grape Winery moved out of
that location to Cedarburg in 2013.
The CUP as approved will eventually allow for up to 20 dogs on the
property at one time, with the business providing dog day care,
extended stay service and a small area for dog-related retail.
Immediately, however, there would be only limited business while the
property is renovated.
In Plan Commission discussions, Schaut said previously that his son
will live on the property and manage the business. The Port
Washington Road business district in the town allows for residence
in a business property.
According to the business plan attached to the CUP, the first one to
two years will be spent mainly improving the old schoolhouse
building and the property. There would be limited extended care for
dogs, whether it is for days or weeks, for up to five dogs. In later
years, once a 6-foot fence is installed on the property, the
business could expand to care for up to 20 dogs.
Later business plans also include adding the dog day care service
and retail. There are restrictions on hours of operation, with
pickup and dropoff of dogs occurring between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m.; dogs
will be let outside between 6:30 a.m. and 9 p.m.; and retail will
occur between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The application noted dogs may
be picked up, dropped off or let out outside of those times due to
Town Chairman and Plan Commissioner Lester Bartel said there were a
number of neighbors who voiced concerns about the plan, but the
Commission did pass it with conditions, such as business hours and
parking requirements. The permit issued this month is limited
compared to original proposals.
Schaut originally came to the Plan Commission in August, asking for
a permit to allow up to 30 dogs being boarded, as well as dog
training, dog-related retail and other services. Dog training and
grooming were removed from the application before its approval this
In August, many neighbors of the old schoolhouse property spoke
against the proposal. Their concerns included noise with so many
animals, as well as the safety of area people and children with that
many dogs being kept their with vague plans of how the property
would be secured.
Schaut and his family then asked for time to reconsider their
application, stating that what they asked for was the outer limit of
what they imagined the business might someday be, not what they
planned to implement immediately.
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