Coweta Commission denies home kennel request

There was plenty of comment from both sides on the issue of the conditional use permit request by Cannongate Village subdivision resident Susan Abrams and Casa Canine, LLC to continue to have her dog boarding service in her home. But after those comments the Coweta County Commission on Nov. 15 voted unanimously to deny the request, giving Abrams until Dec. 5 to vacate all the boarded dogs.

Abrams had been boarding dogs in her 6,302 square-foot home for the past several years and had been using a converted basement for boarding and grooming purposes, according to Coweta County Planning Director Robert Tolleson.

Planning department staff recommended that the conditional use permit be denied based on three issues. Those included an ordinance requirement that a distance of 200 feet be maintained between the boarding area and adjacent property, that the kennel represents a commercial use in which the distance requirements are not met and that maintaining the business in the home would jeopardize the residential neighborhood.

Planning department representative Angela White told commissioners that Abrams had previously secured a county license for Homeward Hounds Pet Sitting Service, a mobile service provided at the customer’s home. Abrams later began operating Casa Canine, boarding dogs in her home in Cannongate Village. Abrams applied for a conditional use permit after receiving complaints, White said.

Also weighing in on the issue was the county business license department, noting that Abrams was not in possession of a business license for the kennel service and adding that a business license could not be issued to a kennel service that is located in a platted subdivision.

The list of people making comments pro and con was lengthy, both at the commission meeting and at the previous Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Nov. 1 where a recommendation of denial was issued.

The long list of speakers included customers and friends from Coweta County, Fairburn and Peachtree City praising Abrams’ work with their dogs and describing the professionalism of her work. And in their turn there were neighbors who maintained that Abrams should not be operating a business out of her home.

Supporters said that during their time at the home the area used by the dogs is always kept clean and free of odor and that, when outside, the dogs made no demonstrable noise.

Neighbors disagreed, with some saying that noise is a factor in their complaints, adding that the dogs sometimes bark at various times of the day, including in the early morning hours.

Neighbors largely noted that their objections were not over the care provided to the dogs but, rather, that a commercial kennel was not appropriate for a residential subdivision.

Commissioners agreed, and with virtually no discussion after the presentations voted unanimously to deny the conditional use permit request and giving Abrams until Dec. 5 to remove all the boarded dogs from her home.