Barking dogs bring tighter F’ville rules

Barking dogs bring tighter F’ville rules

The Fayetteville City Council got its turn at a perennial problem that has dogged local governments across the country for decades: Barking dogs and upset neighbors.

An amendment to tighten up rules about animal shelters and commercial kennels got a first reading Nov. 19 by the council. The proposed amendment comes on the heels of recent complaints from residents about excessive noise from a nearby animal shelter on Industrial Way.

The amendment to the M-1 (Light Manufacturing) zoning district pertains to commercial kennels and animal shelters, both of which would be permitted by special exception.

Specific to those operations, the amendment permits a maximum of 16 animals on the premises, a maximum of four animals outdoors at any time, outdoor exercise areas surrounded by a 6-foot fence with opaque materials and employees on the premises when animals are outdoors.

The proposed amendment also requires the facility to be constructed to contain noise, odors and drainage so as not to constitute a nuisance or hazard to adjoining and neighboring lots.

Director of Community Development Brian Wismer told council members the amendment pertains to existing and future animal shelters and commercial kennels.

“Through these controls, the city aims to minimize future disruptions and address concerns of public health and quality of life that these businesses have the potential to create while still providing a place in the city where they can operate. Because these regulations are designed to uphold standards of public health, they shall be effective retroactively to all existing businesses in this category. Existing businesses shall have a reasonable time period of no more than 60 days to come into compliance with the amended ordinance,” Wismer said.

The council at a recent meeting heard complaints from nearby residents of Azalea Estates who said the noise coming from Courtney’s Canine Care located on Industrial Way was excessive. Residents asked the council to address the issue.

Contacted Monday, both owner Lisa Fleming and her attorney David Studdard said they had no comments at this time.

Commenting on the amendment prior to it being posted for a first reading, Councilman Mickey Edwards said Fleming obtained the business license for the shelter in the required M-1 zoning district.

“So I think it’s also the city’s issue,” Edwards said. “I think she’s got a 3-year lease and is one and a half years into it.”

Councilman Ed Johnson in his comments essentially agreed with Edwards.

Wismer in noting the incessant noise that Fleming has been unable to deal with said, “I think the criteria in the ordinance will address the issues and we will work with her through the ordinance so she won’t have to move.”

Councilman Walt White also weighed in on the issue, saying businesses must abide by the regulations, adding that, “I think she’s gone overboard.”

Wismer in responding to other comments said city staff have made multiple visits to the business following the noise complaints. The business has gone to court for one citation and a second citation is pending, he said.

The council is expected to hear the second reading and potentially vote on the amendment at the Dec. 5 meeting.