At their last meeting of the year, the planners cleared the Wag Hotels chain to open a kennel in Santa Monica and granted Wilshire Blvd. BevMo! Permission to extend the online ordering and delivery service for non-alcoholic products to 24/7 and for alcoholic products until 2 a.m.
The dog house will be located in two adjacent buildings at 19th Street 1634 and 1653. The complex will house 146 private dog rooms and eight private cat rooms, while the above-ground car park between the buildings will be converted into five individually fenced outdoor play areas surrounded by soundproof walls.
The hotel has a maximum overnight capacity of 190 guests and an expected average occupancy of 75 dogs in the day care center.
The chief concern of the commissioners about the proposed deal was the potential noise pollution that the barking of dogs could cause to the surrounding tenants. The kennel is in an industrial zone and therefore has milder decibel restrictions than residential areas, but commissioners wanted to make sure the business was a good neighbor.
Following a public hearing on the proposed dog hotel permit during the Planning Commission meeting on December 1, commissioners requested a noise study to be carried out before taking a final vote on the project during the December 15 meeting.
In view of the noise study, the employees changed the permit so that Wag Hotels had to take several measures to insulate the indoor and outdoor areas. These include the acoustic treatment of rooms, the installation of double-glazed window systems, ensuring the airtightness of the frames and the installation of rubber seals on doors. Wag Hotels will also install acoustic baffles at the open ends of the courtyard with the play areas.
Some business owners still have concerns. Glenn Martin, the director of the Nomad Editing Company, expressed concern about how the kennel might disrupt work on his company’s nearby soundstage.
“We record sound on the other side of that wall for commercials and movies, and if there is even the slightest bark of dogs, we can’t do our business, and we’ve been doing it here for 25 years,” said Martin. “So I’m a little worried that the attenuation sounds good in practice, but may not work as it is designed.”
The Commissioners sympathized with Martin’s views, but agreed that, given the conclusions of the noise study, these possible fears were insufficient to prevent the project from moving forward.
“I would like to encourage both the applicant and the neighbors to clarify this, but I do not want to hold new businesses hostage to previous business in a particular industrial area,” said Commissioner Shawn Landres.
In order to increase accountability, Landres suggested adding a condition to the permit permit requiring Wag Hotels to submit a report to the planning committee after one year demonstrating compliance with all conditions of the permit, including noise abatement, in order to maintain it.
Commissioner Nina Fresco added that Wag Hotels should provide a 24/7 phone number if neighbors have a complaint. This was included in the conditional approval, which was unanimously adopted by the Commission.
The change of the existing approval of BevMo! To add additional service times was little discussed by the commissioners.
BevMo! located at 1312 Wilshire Blvd. and was only allowed to process online / app orders during regular business hours from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (or 10 p.m. on public holidays). The company applied to expand operations out of the building to allow online orders and deliveries to be made outside of regular business hours.
Pursuant to its newly approved approval change, the store will process online / app orders around the clock for non-alcoholic products and between 6:00 and 2:00 for alcoholic products.