Planning Commission okays pet resort

FLINT TWP. — The Planning Commission unanimously approved a special land use permit to open a pet resort facility, after a public hearing where nearby residents expressed concerns about barking dogs.

Jody Blackburn, the applicant, said she has a purchase agreement for a property at 3095 South Dye Road, which is zoned industrial.

She is planning to open a dog daycare and pet resort. It is a place where pet owners can drop of their dogs for socialization and exercise, while they are at work during the day. Overnight boarding also will be offered for dogs and cats when owners need to go out of town. Drop-off hours will be 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays, she said.

During public comment, Dr. Stephan Smith, who lives two doors south of the property, said his main concern was about dogs barking at all hours.

Charles Camper, a resident who lives one house north of the property, also expressed concern about dogs barking and disturbing the peace. He said he bought his home 30 years ago and has since seen houses disappear and business pop up, for which he had no say about.

Blackburn said that overnight dog guests would be kept inside except for when they are let out to do their business. She said that while out, the dogs would be supervised at all times.

“If there are some barking issues, we will make sure that dog comes back inside,” she said.

Fencing and landscape berms will be added to the outside area to help muffle noise. The building itself will have an extra layer of insulation to reduce the likelihood of hearing dogs barking inside. Blackburn also said she has a strict policy about cleaning up after the dogs and that a solid waste hauler will come regularly to haul waste away.

She said she wants to work with her neighbors and preserve the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.

She also said that she is new to the dog daycare business but is being mentored by Heidi McAra, owner of the Paw Palace in Fenton, which has been in operation for several years.

Blackburn said her background is in business, mainly working in non-profit executive leadership.

She said she is working with animal control officers to determine her occupancy allowance but estimates she will accommodate 15 to 20 dogs per day. She plans to call her business the Furlough Day Care and Pet Resort.

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