Sunday, September 26, 2010

Marion County Commissioners Vote 5 to 0 in Approval of Sit & Stay!

Essentially I’m here to address you, the board, in order to get permission to hang banners to mark the entrance of my flag driveway. Which, as I understand was the basis for that anonymous complaint.

That was the opening of my presentation at the final zoning hearing; read-on to see it in it's entirety.

My “home business“, is exactly that.

I have changed nothing on the property, nor in the house, save some cleaning, painting, and regular upkeep that’s not required by our zoning status.

*I’d also like to point out that I’ve received no opposition to my application by the addressed buffering neighbors. Plus, the classified, and the property posted notices brought forth no objections either.

As I’ve pointed out on the permit application plan, there will be a minimum of traffic impact on the roadway, property, and to the adjacent properties. Intake hours are Mon-Fri from 7am-11am. Pick-up hours are on the same days from 4pm-7pm. The property will be sealed off outside of those times, and both intake, and pick-up will be restricted by an intentional modest capacity. As it is after all a home business, and I have no plan of expanding at this location.

The term “doggie daycare” is used loosely, and is mainly intended to point out that it’s a dog friendly environment to perspective clients. My target clientele are responsible dog owners that want a place to board their wards that is a safe, natural, home setting as to have the least impact on their otherwise happy pups. Many of these folks are looking for an alternative to negative stimuli such as enclosed, and restrictive, high traffic, and jail like kennels. A larger portion of my clients are looking for training, and socialization techniques that they can apply in their own homes.

In addition, I specialize in positive training technique programs, such as our One on One AKC Canine Good Citizenship Prep Course. Often, recipients of the AKC CGC award go on to participate in therapy programs for our ailing, and elderly human residents in rehabilitation facilities.

As a dog trainer, I take great pride in familiarizing myself with any and all of the continuing education on that subject, as well as the newly introduced dog socialization techniques.

*That alone can be considered a full time job, but I choose not stop there.

I feel obligated, but enjoy giving back in the form of helping our local 501(c)(3) dog rescue organizations, such as The DogLiberator, Max’s Pet Connection, and The United Yorkie Rescue to name a few. These organizations make general practice of saving dogs from euthanasia in their eleventh hour.

I take my pro-bono work for these organization as a great source of pride. Their dogs often come to me devoid of social skills, and/or household manners. In addition to the day to day therapy of these pro-bono cases, I also help to facilitate their adoptions, in a meet and greet form, with a 100% success rate for over 12 dogs in the last 12 months.

You see, members of the board, I’ve always been the guy that friends, family, and their friends have come to for advice, and pointers regarding their pets. Just to point out one case: my southern most neighbor, Mrs Dorothy Hull, has been hospitalized twice in the last year for over a month. I’m the guy that took her dog in, feed her cat, and watered her plants…all free of charge.

The fact of the matter is, I was doing exactly what I propose to do, before the anonymous complaint. Whom was incidentally not anonymous to me at any point in time. That person was trying to impose her opinion on me on the July 4th weekend, when one of my client’s dogs fled my property in fear of the a neighbors fireworks.

The complainant found the dog, and returned him complete with a heated lecture that I told her I respectfully did not need, nor appreciate. That was the only thing that’s happened out of the ordinary at my place in over a year. It’s obvious that this person doesn’t live in the zoning departments designated buffering neighbor list, and was for lack of a better explanation, was a personal issue that I could have handled better ,if perhaps, I’d bowed to her.

I was taken back by this persons general attitude, as I’ve never received anything but accolades for my work, before or since. I offer some evidence of this in the form of some testimonials, and references, and one direct letter to the board.

The zoning staff initially recommended the board decline my application, based on my proposed plan. They offered an alternate list of stipulations for approval.

I have no issue with these stipulations, save numbers 9 & 10.

#9 requires I have the driveway apron inspected by the Marion Co Trans Dept, Whom I believe actually built or approved the of already, as it was installed originally as a part of the Hwy 42 expansion project.

#10 refers to a CO on the residence that is not, nor will be altered in any way shape or form. I use free standing crates for nap times, and overnight beds for my personally owned pets. In addition, the only other form of confinement indoors are some spring type baby gates within existing door frames of the 1800 sq ft home, that I reside in alone. My clientele are after all looking for that alternative home setting for their dogs.

At the zoning hearing on August 30th, a board member asked how I proposed to keep up with the waste from the dogs on the large 1.97 acre property. I perhaps didn’t answer to his satisfaction, as he was the only vote against approval.
The backyard area is not so large I can’t keep up, as I spend a large portion of my day out there.

The much larger area, I’ve designated as the fully supervised exercise area on my site plan, is where I practice with my personally owned competitive Frisbee, and agility dog athletes, I police that area for waste on a golf cart that’s outfitted with a waste bucket and scooper. If I see droppings, I pick them up. I’d also like to remind the board that we are in fact on agriculturally zoned land, that’s formally pasture, and in ear shot and sight of existing cow pasture. If your not familiar with a working cow pasture they come along with “dung beetles” that often beat me to the punch. Also, the neighboring cattle rancher has several working dogs in his employ, that I’m very familiar with as well. I bag the waste daily, and take it to the county dump facility along with my household trash weekly.

The fact is that 20 dogs do not have nearly the impact of say 2 cows, some goats, a pig, a rooster, and some chickens would have on that same property.

I sincerely thank the board for your time and consideration here today…if there’re any questions, I’d be very happy to answer them at this time?

My speech lasted 8 minutes, and was followed by 15 minutes of Q&A, then another 15minutes to refine the verb age...

Bottom Line: We're Back in Business!

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