A popular Grand Junction dog trainer plans to open a new facility in Mesa County, and got a new conditional special use permit to do so on Tuesday.
Erika Hall, who already operates in the city of Grand Junction, plans to open a new training facility at her home on B 1/2 Road later this year, eventually training up to 25 dogs at a time.
She and her father, Harold Hall, applied for and got a permit to do so at a Mesa County land-use meeting that attracted no dissenters.
"When I walked in this morning and I saw this application I thought all of you were going to be complaining about barking dogs," Commissioner Rose Pugliese told the people who came to testify on Hall's behalf. "So I'm pleasantly surprised at the amount of support that you have for your facility, and some pretty high-profile support."
Those supporters include some well-known business owners and Mesa County Treasurer Sheila Reiner, all of whom said they were clients of the Halls'.
One of those supporters who testified in favor of the permit, Jane Westbrook, wore a hoodie that read on the front, "I don't care who dies in a movie as long as the dog lives." She said the Halls' operation is one of the best facilities anywhere.
"I've been a client of Strut Your Mutt for over five years, and I'm probably one of Erika's and Strut Your Mutt's biggest fans and promoters," Westbrook told the commissioners. "There are so many dogs in this community and so many dog owners that have benefited from her services it's unbelievable. She runs an exceptional clean operation."
The Halls plan to operate the new business on Orchard Mesa at 243 Foothill Drive, a 1.5 acre property located east of 32 Road and south of B 1/2 Road.
Like her existing business, the new one will feature specialized dog training and overnight boarding.
At first, the Halls plan to use the property's garage to house the dogs, but eventually will convert a barn-like building already in place for that purpose. To do so, however, will require a few upgrades to its wastewater system, and the installation of some privacy fencing.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified Harold Hall as Erika Hall's husband.