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Rezoning request for kennel business dropped by couple

Following action from the Jonesborough Regional Planning Commission last week, a couple is no longer seeking a rezoning that would allow them to operate a kennel on their property.
“We’re in the process of pulling the request,” Michael Elbers said the day after the Sept. 16 planning commission meeting. “It seems like it’s going to go nowhere.”
While it would have been nice to have the kennel on their property, Elbers said, there is too much red tape involved. “Jonesborough city is not very pro-business,” he concluded.
Town staff originally recommended approval of rezoning approximately 17 acres along Old Boones Creek Road from A-1 to A-3, but complaints from neighbors resulted in an amended recommendation at the July meeting to forward the request with a neutral opinion and have the Washington County Commission make the decision.
Elbers then submitted a revised application that included a significant reduction in the area requested for the A-3 zoning, which required the application to return to the Jonesborough Regional Planning Commission. The agenda item was deferred one month during the August meeting at the request of the owners.
When Elbers was asked to address his request during last week’s meeting, he invited the opposition to speak first.
“The most important thing, we feel, is that the change from A-1 to A-3, though small, is something several years down the road that could harm the neighborhood,” said Nancy Hallberg of Semore Drive, indicating the property is very close to two subdivisions. “It’s not just out in the country like it was made to look like.”
Elbers said he and his wife purchased the property a little over a year ago and hope to begin building their dream home next spring. Kennel plans were for an upscale doggie hotel with 10 runs.
In addition, Elbers said the study he conducted with a decibel reader using a tractor set at the same noise level indicates the measurement is below the zoning restriction.
“The problem I have is the county zoning (for use) is wide open,” Commissioner Chuck Vest said. “I was probably going to request denial because I think you need to go to the county and ask for an ordinance that matches what you want to build.”
Noise restrictions and the hours the dogs would be outside are factors Vest said the planning commission would want to consider. “I think the neighbors would be more comfortable, and I’m one of them,” he added.
Vest made a motion to recommend the county deny the rezoning request. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Marion Light and passed with unanimous approval.