Possible price drop in Chesterfield private kennel permits

By Melissa Correa - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) -  Right now, in order to keep at least three dogs under one roof in Chesterfield County you've got to fork over $1,000 and hope you qualify for a private kennel permit.

Now, there may be a price drop.

Limit two dogs per household, unless you're approved for a private kennel permit.

But now, the county is looking to drop price and possibly switch the department that handles the paperwork -- tacking on an extra month to the wait time that already stretches 90 days.

With each bark at all hours of the day, Evan Armstrong is reminded of the private kennel permit his neighbor has.

"They are loud. They're dirty. They dig underneath the fence," he said.

But they're allowed to stay. The Chesterfield Zoning Commission just approved the permit renewal at a cost of $1,000. The same price for one dog or a dozen.

"I think there should be different fees depending on how many dogs you have," Armstrong said.

The board of supervisors isn't considering a sliding scale, rather a drop in the price.

"There is a land use request that is necessary to have more than two dogs on your property," said Ted Barclay, Chesterfield County Code Enforcement. "Right now it is called a special exception and that costs $1,000 to make the application."

After complaints from dog owners -- who have to pay the fee each time the permit is up for renewal -- the board of supervisors is considering a $100 fee.

"It seems like such a huge price change, so I wonder why they would justify charging a $1,000 in the first place," said dog owner Jean Stevens.

As it stands, the county barely generates revenue. The fee pays for investigators and public notices. A decrease to $100 means the county could very well lose money. Another option could lower the fee, but increase the wait time for a permit. Instead of a special exception, it would be a conditional use.

"And what that means is that as opposed to going to the board of zoning appeals which is where the special exception currently goes, it would go to the planning commission and then the board of supervisors for review," Barclay said.

Though no matter the wait time or the price reduction, Stevens said dog owners will do whatever it takes.

Evan Armstrong however, is looking for stiffer guidelines.

"You can hear them now. They just won't stop," he said.

The planning commission is discussing the issue at a work session tomorrow. The board of supervisors, set to talk price reduction January 13.

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