Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Today we had a bit of disappointing news. Nothing major, mind you, but I have to admit I'm definitely a little discouraged. Here's the whole story in a nutshell, even though I'm not generally very good at shoving my stories into nutshells.

When we first went to look at the house out in the country that we really liked, our first step in making the decision about moving was to figure out if we could legally operate my dream dog rescue at that location. Chad contacted one of our county officials, who wasn't sure about the zoning and regulations, so he said he'd check into it and get back with us. We knew that there was a nice dog boarding kennel within a mile or so of the house, and we figured that there were probably tons of backyard breeders all over the county with tons of dogs, so we didn't really think it would be a big issue considering the property was on 10 acres.

Well to make a short story long (I have such a talent for this, I know), Chad got a call back from said county official, who basically indicated that the house we were looking at was zoned for rural residential use only, and the owners could therefore only have 5 dogs in their possession at one time. Since we already have three, it wouldn't be a very helpful rescue if we could only take in two dogs at a time!

The bummer is that these restrictions are in place for commercial kennels (primarily boarding and breeding kennels), but any sort of dog kennel, regardless of the purpose, is included in their definition. They didn't make a separate definition for non-profits or rescues, so as of now anything zoned for rural residential use could not have a dog rescue. The official said we could request a variance to get our rescue approved, but that several other people had tried this for dog kennels (I assume boarding kennels) and they had not been successful. Apparently, the land would have to be zoned for agricultural use in order for us to house more than 5 dogs there.

Ironically, we had already scheduled an appointment to go out and see the house again, and we didn't want to cancel last minute when we got all this information, so we went out and talked to the real estate agent as well as the homeowner. They were very helpful and supportive of my desire to operate a rescue there, and even volunteered to pester county officials with our request. However, I think this is going to be a long process that's not likely to be resolved any time soon.

The good news is, we're okay with the fact that the house we thought might be perfect isn't going to work for us--at least not right now. I'd actually been thinking all week about the master bedroom issues and how we were going to make it work for our family. This sounds crazy, but I'd been having my doubts because the master is in the loft of the house (Did I mention it is a log home? This is it, by the way.) and I couldn't see us carrying Celtic up and down those stairs during the next few years so that he could sleep in our bedroom. Actually, I could kind of see us carrying Celtic up and down, but then I couldn't imagine us carrying Hope (55 lbs) and Fresco (65 lbs) up and down those stairs in their golden years! It suddenly hit me that we'd have to eventually build a master bedroom on the main level, so I was doing all sorts of brainstorming about where it might fit. It would be a huge undertaking!

Anyway, for now the house is out and the search is back on, only this time we'll probably be searching for land that is zoned for agricultural use. We'll definitely also be petitioning the county commission to make some changes in the zoning regulations!


Tish said...

oh it's a beautiful house...i hope you get your dreams my dear. you've got some noble ones. : )

Beth said...

I'm having a hard time seeing how a 10-acre peice of land would be bothersome for others to have lots of dogs on it...I'm sure something great will work out, and FYI, when my parents recently built their new house, they did it keeping the dog in mind to make it as easy as possible. Very important! :) Keep up the hunting, though!

The Faulkners said...

Everyone always says it all happens for a reason. Sure love the look of that house though! :) When you do finally find the perfect place it will be easy to look back on this. :)