New zoning regulations for some animal facilities begin July 1

New zoning regulations for some animal facilities begin July 1

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Beginning Monday, July 1, those looking to open certain establishments in town related to the keeping of animals will have new zoning regulations to abide by. 

On June 5, the Planning and Zoning Commission enacted new special exception regulations for uses including commercial animal kennels, breeding establishments, animal training facilities, animal grooming facilities, animal day-care facilities and veterinarian hospitals.

Those applying would have to meet the outlined conditions before going to the commission with a site plan. An application may include multiple uses but must specify all which are planned. 

The above uses are permitted in all zones by special exception. They previously appeared under the agriculture section of the zoning regulations, but in December the commission decided to remove the uses from the regulations entirely, with the intent to add them back in as a special exception. 

The new regulations stipulate details such as how many acres certain uses require, which uses can include overnight boarding of animals, and the max amount of animals on one parcel. 

During the June 5 meeting, the commission made a couple final revisions to the regulations, including adding new language to the definition of “commercial animal grooming facility” to limit activities to indoors-only. 

The commission also revised a requirement regarding a 150-foot setback from any property line to be less specific. Now, the regulations under section 12.14.05 will read: “Structures housing animals and areas used for exercise and training may require setbacks and buffer." 

Before voting on the revision, Chairman Frank DeFelice made the case for a less-specific setback rule, noting that 150 feet doesn’t matter much with a barking dog and, because the applicant would still be required to submit a site plan, the commission would still be able to set limits. 

“I know there's a lot of feeling that this (setback) should stay, but I think it just makes setting up a business like this very, very difficult on many, many parcels,” DeFelice said.

Commercial animal kennels, commercial breeding establishments, commercial animal training facilities and commercial animal day-care facilities will require a minimum parcel size of 10 acres for residential zones and seven acres for commercial and industrial zones.

Commercial animal grooming facilities and veterinarian facilities will require at least five acres, but have no minimum acreage requirement for commercial or industrial zones. 

Overnight boarding will only be allowed for certain uses, including commercial animal kennels and veterinarian hospitals. 

No facility can exceed 50 animals and the facility “shall be designed and constructed so as to provide adequate provisions to limit the emission of sound from the property.” 

The regulation also limits hours of operation for exterior activities like runs and training – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The regulation states that certain activities should take place in the “confines of an enclosed building” and when outside, animals must be under the continuous supervision and control of the operator or attendant.

“Animals shall be maintained in such manner as not to cause a nuisance by roaming at-large, vicious disposition,excessive barking or unsanitary conditions,” the statute states. 

The regulations were reviewed by the RiverCOG and South Central Regional Council of Governments.
Twitter: @baileyfaywright


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