Amendments would outline new dog run rules

By: Maddie Forshee | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published February 15, 2018

WEST BLOOMFIELD — The West Bloomfield Township Planning Commission approved a recommendation Feb. 13 to amend an ordinance governing pet boarding facilities in the township. 

In October 2017, the township Board of Trustees adopted a moratorium on pet boarding facilities to give the township time to review and evaluate existing regulations on pet boarding facilities.

“We’ve had a request for a new pet boarding facility in the township, but it was informal — no application was submitted,” said Amy Neary, township planning director. “It was for a piece of property that backed up to residential, and (the developer) wanted a large outdoor run 50 feet away from residential property.

“We decided to take a look at our pet boarding facility ordinance and see if they’re appropriate and if we need to add more regulations to them.” 

Township Supervisor Steven Kaplan said the township was approached by a developer who wanted to build a similar business with a “play and run” area outside. 

On Jan. 23, the Planning Commission proposed amendments to the township’s current pet boarding ordinance. The amendments outline a new distance that a pet run must be from any property line, changing it from 50 feet to 150 feet, as well as outlining fencing requirements. The amendments would allow for properties with pet runs to share property lines with any type of property, regardless of adjacent land use or zoning district.

“In regards to outdoor dog runs, we were the lowest compared to neighboring communities, with only 50 feet required to be away from residential (property lines),” said Neary. 

Many other neighboring communities require 100 to 150 feet, she said.

In West Bloomfield, outdoor pet runs can be used between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., and they must be in the backyard of a property. 

The amendments stipulate that owners of a pet run would need to remove and properly dispose of any waste, and fences would have to be 6 feet tall and designed to deter any animals from jumping over them. 

Currently, West Bloomfield is home to one “pet hotel,” TyVy. The pet boarding facility acts as a daycare for pets, and all of its play and activity areas are inside the building.

“It is a dog-loving community,” Kaplan said. “Families with two parents working might enjoy having a dog attended to throughout the day, or overnight while they’re away.” 

The Feb. 13 Planning Commission meeting featured a public hearing on the ordinance amendments, but no members of the public had comments on the matter.

The Planning Commission recommended that the Board of Trustees approve the ordinance amendments.

Commissioners Jim Manna and Rob Cohon were absent from the meeting, but of the present commissioners, the vote was unanimous.

The ordinance amendment was scheduled to go before the Board of Trustees Feb. 20, after press time.