Pet boarding

County approves limited pet boarding at two acreage locations before enacting moratorium

At a zoning meeting on Thursday, Jan. 27, the Palm Beach County Commission approved conditional use applications to permit limited pet boarding at two locations in The Acreage.

Approvals were made on 4-2 votes, and immediately after approving the applications, the council voted 6-0 to enact an ongoing zoning moratorium to temporarily suspend any further applications until county staff had wrote an order imposing limits on the lodging of pets. .

Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, who withdrew the agenda items from consent, said they had been the subject of several contentious emails commissioners had received and asked staff to make a presentation on it. .

Kevin McGinley, representing the owner, said it was the first pet boarding to be discussed in front of council.

“I’ve been to eight of them already, and it’s always been by consent. It always went without neighborhood opposition,” McGinley said. “They always had the unanimous support of the zoning commission.”

He said pet boarding sometimes works in concert with animal training, but cannot be kept overnight without a conditional pet boarding use approval.

“It’s seven animals, usually on an acre of property,” McGinley said, explaining that the scale increases with the size of the property and owners can have three. “Seven of them are restricted. They have to have a restricted play area and they have restricted hours that they can go out.

He added that some clients only deal with small companion dogs or dogs that need medication, or dogs that have been trained for aggression and are trained for de-escalation.

“I don’t have clients who practice aggression or drug sniffing or things like that,” McGinley said. “These tend to be the ones you buy from the owner as puppies, and they’re trained by someone at a training center, not a boarding house.”

Palm Beach County Mayor Robert Weinroth asked what kind of protection the county provides for neighbors, and Animal Care & Control staff said there is a nuisance ordinance that applies to everyone. . It requires the filing of an affidavit proving that there is nuisance.

Site planner James Borsos said the 1.15 acre subject property in The Acreage is located on a site with agricultural residential zoning. The single family home with detached garage has a proposed outdoor space of 1,560 square feet for animals. It is on the south side of 77th Place North, just east of Hall Blvd.

The applicant has applied for a Class A Conditional Use Permit to permit the limited lodging of pets as an accessory use to the existing single family residence to house a maximum of seven cats or dogs in the home.

“Public comments were received with a recommendation of approval of three, and one opposed,” Borsos said.

The zoning board recommended approval unanimously. Staff recommended approval with conditions that outdoor space is limited to use between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m., except on a leash, and owners or handlers must comply with care and control requirements animals and be subject to inspections at all times.

McKinlay said the property has received numerous complaints about code enforcement.

“This landlord has already struggled to follow existing rules in our local codes,” she said. “What assurances do we have that if we give this approval, he’s actually going to comply?”

Staff explained that the condition is included to ensure animals are kept in the primary residence and not in the accessory structure.

McKinlay said she removed the items from the consent agenda because she felt the county never intended to allow dog training opportunities.

“I feel like some of them that come before us, this one and the other one, are fully encroaching on business operations, rather than a pet boarding operation,” he said. she said, adding that while she doesn’t expect to have the votes to stop the items before the board that day, changes are needed. “Going forward, I would like to put a moratorium on their approval until the staff can go back and change our regulations. I think this one, after number two, will be the sixth such operation at The Acreage alone.

Commissioner Maria Sachs moved a motion to approve the conditional use, which went 4-2 with McKinlay and Commissioner Mack Bernard in opposition and Commissioner Dave Kerner absent. A motion to approve the second pet boarding request also passed 4-2.

McKinlay then moved a motion to enact an ongoing zoning moratorium on the pet boarding ordinance, which carried 6-0.