Interested in having more doggy day care options close to home? You could be in luck.
Until now, pet boarding facilities haven't been allowed in Ferndale as a standalone use in any district, but Ferndale City Council approved an ordinance on Monday night that allows pet boarding as a permitted use in industrial districts in the city.
The city had previously only allowed pet boarding as an accessory to veterinarian or grooming operations. Bubble and Bark on Livernois currently offers grooming as well as boarding and day care.
The issue came up after several potential business owners contacted the city about opening a standalone pet boarding facility. The Planning Commission looked into the issue and held a public hearing, ultimately voting in favor of an ordinance that allows pet boarding in industrial districts or as a special land use in other districts.
The ordinance specifies that any outdoor play areas for the pets must be 50 feet from any residential area.
Derek Delacourt, Ferndale's director of community and economic development, said the Planning Commission felt strongly about making a change to allow pet boarding facilities.
"They felt that the city considers itself to be very dog-friendly and that in the appropriate districts and with the appropriate criteria that this was a use that needed to be established and further defined in the city," he said.
Council members chose to remove the special land use portion of the proposed ordinance and voted 4-1 on the revised ordinance, with Councilman T. Scott Galloway voting no. Galloway said he supports the businesses and was in favor of the less restrictive proposal.
Ferndale Mayor Pro Tem Melanie Piana said she visited a potential owner's current facility in Detroit and was impressed. "I didn't realize it was that well managed and maintained," she said.
But she expressed concerns about locations near residential areas. "Dog barks travel more than 50 feet," she said.
Ferndale Mayor Dave Coulter said he is in favor of allowing the facilities, but only in industrial areas.
"One dog barking 50 feet away can be really annoying and 20 of them I think would be unacceptable," he said, adding that it's business-friendly of the city to allow the facilities at all, considering many other communities don't. "I think in our industrial areas it's an appropriate use. For me, 50 feet from a residential area is just too close."
One resident who spoke at the meeting said she has three dogs and is excited to eventually have pet boarding available in the city. "It'd be nice to know that my dogs are taken care of properly in a dog boarding facility," she said.