Mooresville town commissioners on Monday were caught between supporters of the owners of a popular pet spa and boarding facility who want to expand and neighbors who have concerns about the noise associated with Pampered Pets and how an expansion would impact their property values.

Pampered Pets, which is located on 2.266 acres at 2993 Charlotte Highway, was rendered a non-conforming business under the town’s recently approved Unified Development Ordinance. The business can legally operate as a non-conforming business under its new Residential-Limited Services zoning designation, but the owners cannot expand the operation while the property is designated as non-conforming.

Owners Sean Braund and Karen Vansickler, who purchased Pampered Pets in 2015, have seen dramatic growth in their business. The couple and their 36 employees now serves 2,000 regular clients, resulting in 22,000 overnight pet stays and 12,000 daycare stays annually. They utilize a play-rest model for their four-legged guests and also provide grooming services.

During a public hearing Monday, several customers told town commissioners that Pampered Pets provides an important service for their pets and enables them to work and travel without worrying about their furry family members.

As a result of the business’ success, the owners petitioned commissioners to rezone the property to Corridor Mixed Use, which is the proper zoning for pet kennels and veterinary service businesses. They also sought a change to the UDO that would allow them to expand the business as long as they provide a 75-foot setback between outdoor pet areas and existing residential lots developed with residential structures or open space.

Braund and Vansickler want to add additional parking, a new building and expanded play areas so they can better serve their existing clientele and future customers.

The rezoning request and proposed text amendment change brought out loyal customers of Pampered Pets, who want to see the business grow and prosper, and neighbors, who do not want the business to further encroach on their properties. The proposed expansion, neighbors said, would negatively impact their quality of life and their property values.

“The current noise levels are almost unbearable for any residential community,” Jimmy Philip, who lives next to Pampered Pets, told commissioners.

An expansion, Philip said, would wipe out hundreds of thousands of property values in the community.

After hearing from both sides in a public hearing, commissioners split 3-3 on a motion to approve the rezoning request.

Mayor Miles Atkins broke the tie by voting in favor of the rezoning. Commissioners Eddie Dingler, Bobby Compton and Gary West supported the rezoning.

Following a second public hearing, commissioners denied the proposed text amendment change needed for the business expansion. The text amendment change would also have impacted future businesses in the town with a Corridor Mixed Use zoning.

Town staff will work with Pampered Pets owners to pursue a variance, another route that could lead to the expansion. Variance requests are considered by the Town Board of Adjustment.


In other business, commissioners:

♦ Approved the 2023-2024 HOME Funding Action Plan and authorized the town to participate in the Cabarrus/Iredell/Rowan Housing Consortium to receive federal funding for affordable housing. The town received $189,138 in 2022.

♦ Approved a request from the Mooresville Downtown Commission to close Main Street from Center Avenue to Moore Avenue, and Broad Street from Center to Moore Avenue, and Moore Avenue from Main Street to Broad Street, on Saturday, March 18, from 2 to 8:30 p.m. for the St. Patrick’s Day Festival.

♦ Approved a request from Engineering to award a professional services contract to Kittelson & Associates for the technical traffic analysis to support the 2023 RAISE Grant for an amount not to exceed $29,924.04 and approve the corresponding budget and project ordinance amendments.

♦ Approved request from Facilities to amend the contract with Creech and Associates PLLC for the Operations Center Space Needs to begin full design in an increased amount of $220,120 to bring the new contract total to $248,720.

♦ Approved a request from Finance to approve an amendment to move funds from the General Capital Investment Funds into the General Fund. Purchase and installation of the swing set at Nesbit Park did not meet the capital threshold due to a 30% discount received.

♦ Approved a request from Finance to approve an adjustment due to clerical error, of item 6.j., consent agenda, approved February 6, 2023. Appropriation amount read $1,363,225 and should have read $1,363,285.Approved a request from Finance to award a contract to Potter & Company, PA in the amount of $53,000 for the annual external audit of financial statements for year ending June 30, 2023. After issuing a request for proposal for audit services in December, the Town received two bids. Responses were scored based on price and ability. Potter & Company was the low bidder.

♦ Approved a request from Human Resources to reclassify two Line Maintenance Mechanic II positions in pay grade 350 to Water Sewer Maintenance Supervisor positions in pay grade 356.

♦ Approved a request from the Library to accept a donation in the amount of $5,000 in honor of Susan and Frank Collatz and book-loving dogs – Charlee and Lucy from Laura Collatz and family and to amend the budget accordingly. The money is designated for benches for the sensory garden at the gazebo.

♦ Approved a request from Parks & Recreation to approve a budget amendment in the amount of $7,100 from Park Services to the General Capital Investment Fund, Recreation Administration, to cover the additional funds needed to resurface the Academy Street playground as part of the Neighborhood Park Revitalization Program.

♦ Approved a request from Planning to approve a contract with Surveying and Mapping (SAM) for GIS services to not exceed $142,500 and approve a corresponding budget amendment to appropriate fund balance in the amount of $102,500 from the General Fund and transfer $40,000 from the Utility Fund.

♦ Approved a request from Public Utilities to approve an amendment to the Engagement Letter with Hamilton Stevens Steele & Martin, PLLC for legal services associated with property acquisition for the Wiggins Road Pump Station and Pipelines project. The amendment would increase the not to exceed amount of the contract from $100,000 to $150,000.

♦ Approved a request from Public Utilities to enter into an agreement with NCDOT for the Town’s statutory share of utility relocations (water and sewer) related to the R3833C Project (Brawley School Road Widening). Construction will be completed by NCDOT’s contractor. The estimated cost of the relocation work is $2,363,000 and in accordance with NCGS 136-27.1, the Town’s share is 50% of the total actual construction cost.

♦ Approved a request from Public Utilities to approve entering into an Agreement for Professional Services with Willis Engineers in an amount not to exceed $135,000 for design services associated with the replacement of a section of a 20-inch sewer forcemain on Brawley School Road. This project is not part of the Utility Department Capital Improvement Plan but has been initiated as a result of multiple observed failures in the pipe material.

♦ Approved a request from Risk Management to settle a vehicle damage claim in the amount of $37,453.89. The claimant vehicle was deemed a total loss. The actual cash value is $37,453.89. The Town driver failed to put the vehicle in park resulting in the vehicle rolling a few hundred yards into the claimant vehicle. The Town’s insurance carrier has handled this claim.

♦ Approved a request from Finance to award a contract to Output Services Group Inc., dba EverView, for 2023 utility bill printing and mailing for an amount not to exceed $101,200.