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9:21 AM Thu, Dec. 13th

Animal code changes on P&Z agenda

KINGMAN - The County Planning and Zoning Commission will discuss changes to the zoning ordinances dealing with kennels, catteries and veterinary clinics.

Planning and Zoning staff are bringing the proposed changes to the commission after several months of work to improve the ordinances with the County Environmental Health and Animal Control Staff. In the interim, the county has cited a Golden Valley animal sanctuary - Rescue Unwanted Furry Friends Foundation - and a Golden Valley couple for allegedly operating kennels without zoning permits or licenses.

RUFFF was cited when its current zoning use permit lapsed. The commission approved a six-month zoning use permit last month for the sanctuary.

Jason and Tai Barnes say they were cited after they built a grooming station and a kennel area in a new outbuilding on their property to groom and breed their boxers.

The proposed changes to the zoning ordinances define cattery, residential kennel and non-residential kennel; limit the number of cats a resident can have without a permit to four; changes which zoning areas a kennel, vet clinic, pet store and/or grooming facility can be located in; creates a limited residential and commercial animal permit; changes how far back from the edge of a property a kennel must be built; and requires a site plan for some kennels.

According to the proposed changes, a cattery is defined as a building or premises where 10 or more cats, 4 months of age or older, are housed.

A kennel is now defined as any building, structure, enclosure or premises where five or more dogs, 4 months of age or older, are kept. Kennels now include "rescues, sanctuaries and similar facilities."

Kennels have also been divided into two subcategories: residential and non-residential. A residential kennel, according to the proposed changes, is a noncommercial kennel at or adjoining a private residence where more than four adult dogs, owned by a resident, are kept for companionship, enjoyment of the species or for training for field work or obedience trials or exhibitions for organized shows.

A non-residential kennel is defined as "a kennel that provides boarding, grooming or training of animals not owned by a resident of the property, or that advertises such services, with or without compensation, or a facility that accepts stray or unwanted animals for adoption or long-term care, or that is not otherwise included in the definition of a residential kennel."

According to the proposed changes, a zoning use permit and a site plan is now required for all facilities housing 10 or more cats or dogs.

Residents with more than four cats or dogs, but less than 10 animals total, can apply for a limited residential or commercial animal permit.

A limited residential animal permit allows a resident to have up to 10 animals without a zoning use permit. However, the owner must apply and complete a permit application; the property can be no smaller than half an acre in size; and all of the animals must be personal pets and have their vaccines and licenses up to date. The pet owner cannot offer any boarding, breeding, adoption or long-term care services, with or without compensation, to other residents. The permits must be renewed annually, and the property can't be a nuisance to neighbors.

A limited commercial animal permit allows a resident to have a small breeding or boarding kennel for up to 10 animals in an agricultural, agricultural-residential, recreational or certain single-family residential areas.

The owner has to apply and complete a permit application, have all animals up to date in their vaccinations and licenses, comply with all permit requirements from the Health Department, and have a site plan on file with the county.

The owner cannot offer grooming services unless they are necessary for boarding or breeding. Grooming services must be limited to 10 percent of the total enclosed portion of the kennel. The permit has to be renewed annually and the property cannot become a nuisance to neighbors.

The property for a limited commercial permit can be no smaller than one acre for up to six animals and must be larger than 2.5 acres for more than six animals.

According to the proposed changes, both limited residential and commercial permits can be revoked if county staff or a court feel that "continued use of the permit is contrary to the public health, safety and welfare, violates the conditions of approval or if the number of animals on the property exceeds the number allowed under the permit."

A permit can also be revoked if 51 percent of the property owners or persons living within 300-feet of the kennel submit a petition to the county saying the kennel is in violation of its permit.

A public hearing will be held by the County Board of Adjustments to determine the outcome.

If a permit is revoked, the property owner must reduce the number of animals on the property to no more than four cats and four dogs within 30 days.

The proposed changes also allow vet clinics and kennels with more than 10 animals with no outside runs or facilities to operate in any commercial or industrial zone, except neighborhood commercial and airport development zones.

Vet clinics and kennels with outside runs are allowed to operate in all commercial zones except neighborhood commercial and general commercial zones.

Both types of clinics and kennels are required to have a zoning use permit to build or operate in agricultural residential or recreational residential zones and must be located on at least 2.5 acres.

The commission will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the County Administration Building, 700 West Beale Street.