To the surprise of practically no one, the Sunset Hills Board of Aldermen on June 11 rejected a petition from Y Bark Alone dog daycare owner Patches Ellis to more than double the number of dogs she can accommodate at her 10390 Watson Road facility.

Y Bark Alone’s conditional use permit would have increased the number of dogs allowed inside the facility from 50 to 120.

Public works staff in April presented Ellis’ petition to the planning and zoning commission with a negative recommendation. The commission in turn passed its own negative recommendation to the board of aldermen, which last month asked Ellis some pointed questions without giving the request a second hearing.

The June 11 vote ended Ellis’ uphill battle to open the daycare up to more clients, a battle she waged in response to demand that has exceeded her own expectations.

The board said little about the petition, but gave the floor to Pam Spiros, a resident whose property is near Y Bark Alone. Spiros reiterated her contention that the noise generated by the dogs and the staff creates a disturbance “and causes us to take the police away from doing more important jobs.” Spiros and others have frequently complained to police about the noise.

When the board voted on the petition, the rejection was unanimous. Ellis was present at the meeting but offered no comment.

Former Vatterott College Property

Also at its June 12 meeting, the board of aldermen heard a presentation from D & P Property, LLC, a commercial real estate firm that wants to buy the vacant 30,000-square-foot building and campus at 12900 Maurer Industrial Drive that once housed Vatterott College.

D & P plans to sell the property to Drive Centric, a technology company currently located in Creve Coeur. Drive Centric produces digital marketing for auto dealerships. Frank Leta, Suntrup and Lou Fusz are among its clients.

Jonathan Schultz, a conceptualist at Drive Centric, told the board his company is a “start-up software lounge” that, with its 50-plus employees, will “bring Silicon Valley to Sunset Hills.”

The company must first gain approval for a number of variances for existing features including lighting, landscaping, parking and lot setbacks before the amended development plan can move forward. The board did not give the petition a second reading, but a number of aldermen appeared enthusiastic about the potential new business.

“It’s the perfect kind of business for our city,” said Alderman Mark Columbo.