Commissioners define ‘kennel’

By BRAD GASKINS/Staff Writer

COLUMBIANA – Shelby County commissioners on Monday night settled on a definition of a kennel.

Commissioners approved the definition, along with an interpretation of the definition from the Department of Development Services, by a 6-2 vote at the County Administration Building.

Commissioners Larry Dillard and Tommy Edwards cast “no” votes. Dan Acker was absent from the meeting.

A definition of what a kennel is – or isn’t – was needed for zoning regulation purposes, local officials have said for several months.

The new definition reads: “For the purpose of this ordinance, a kennel will be considered as any combination of structures, pens, areas or enclosures, covered or uncovered, open or enclosed where dogs or cats are kept as an Accessory or ancillary use.”

Prior to Monday’s commission meeting, the department of development services released an interpretation memorandum regarding the definition. Before voting on the definition, commissioners first voted to include the interpretation as part of the definition.

“The definition of a kennel shall apply to animal hospitals, clinics, boarding facilities or other similar uses in business, industrial and agricultural districts,” according to the interpretation.

According to the interpretation, a kennel does not include pets in any zoning district, does not include a dog house and does not include “the keeping, breeding, raising, showing, or training of dogs or cats for the personal enjoyment of the owner or occupants of the property for which commercial gain is not the primary objective.”

In property zoned as agricultural, a kennel must be located at least 75 feet from property lines.

Prior to the vote, Dillard, who represents District 6, said he was against having to define a kennel at all.

“I don’t want us to get Shelby County in the business of over-regulating anything,” Dillard said, adding that if the commission had to define a kennel then it also should look into how other domestic animals are housed.