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City may reduce buffer between dog kennels and homes

Dog In Suds owner Dawn Maki wants to add boarding. She will need a zoning code change to get it. Dog In Suds owner Dawn Maki wants to add boarding. She will need a zoning code change to get it.

The city could allow overnight dog boarding closer to homes if the Hendersonville City Council OKs a zoning code amendment.

Property owner Andrew Riddle asked the city to reduce the buffer between indoor kennels and property zoned residential from 500 feet to 200 feet. The Planning Board voted unanimously on Monday to recommend the change, which the City Council could adopt or reject. To provide greater protection for surrounding homeowners, planners coupled the reduced buffer proposal with a requirement that a staff person be on duty overnight when dogs are boarded. Dogs also could not be outside without a staff member present.
Riddle leases the former Riddle Construction Co. property at 732 Yarborough St. to Dog In Suds. Owner Dawn Maki offers pet grooming, doggie daycare and dog training now but wants the ability to board dogs overnight.
“The property is right beside the back end of Publix grocery store,” he said. “Diesel trucks, lots of light, lots of noise. Lots of activity going on there through the night, through the day.”
“The need for quality boarding is in high demand,” he added. “The ordinance with the city of 500 feet is really the question. Given the back end of Publix, the noise is a little bit of a non-factor.”
Riddle said he supports the tradeoff requirements of overnight staff and would add other safety measures like close-circuit cameras that would allow customers to watch their pets around the clock.

“They have great reputation,” he said of the business. “They’d like to see some more employees and they’d like to see some changes in a market that’s ever changing.”
“The closest residential lot line is 200 feet but the closest house, which is a rental home, is about 300 feet,” he said after the meeting. “It’s a long way away.”
The zoning text amendment is the first step Riddle would have to take before he could get a permit for the kennel. Kennels are not allowed automatically in any zoning category; they’re authorized by a special use permit granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
“If I understand it, any change is still going to require a process where they come before the community,” said Jim Robertson, a newly appointed member of the Planning Board. “There’s a reason for 500 feet (as a buffer). It’s not something everybody wants in their back yard.”