This is an image of a Labrador mix, a Weimaraner, and a Hound mix puppy laying down together outside during the fall.

Garfield County approves kennel expansion near Carbondale

Allows longtime vet clinic to expand service capacity to as many as 120 dogs

February 8, 2023

Garfield County has approved an application for a land use change permit that recognizes and allows for the expansion of an existing dog daycare and boarding facility adjacent to a longtime veterinary clinic near Carbondale. Alpine Animal Hospital, located off the Highway 82 frontage road, applied for the large kennel expansion, which required a major impact review by Garfield County Community Development.

Review criteria required that the facility not exceed current noise standards for residential zone districts. The Garfield County Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval to the Board of County Commissioners in a public hearing on Dec. 7, with conditions including the creation of a noise-mitigation strategy.

County planning staff recommended that the facility’s capacity be increased to as many as 120 dogs, as long as the hospital maintains its state licensing regulations.

“We have never received complaints about this property,” said Garfield County Senior Planner Phillip Berry. “It has been running kennel operations for a very long time. … Their mitigation steps include smaller group size, bringing barking dogs inside, and making sure that staff is appropriately trained in dealing with dogs who are barking.”

The property has been the home of a veterinary hospital since the 1960s, and a traffic analysis determined that there is adequate parking on the grounds. One additional Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) parking space is also being added at the hospital to meet a county condition of approval.

“We’re trying to meet the needs of the valley, since Willits and El Jebel have exploded in size,” said Chuck Maker, owner and veterinarian at Alpine Animal Hospital, to the board. “We’re looking for the blessings to have this permitted to expand to the increased need of as many as 120 dogs.”

The board approved the application unanimously, 3-0.