G&S Prevails for Small Business Owner in Zoning Decision

Shawn Cavenee and Chaz Remus of Gordon & Simmons recently represented two individuals in their efforts to continue to operate their family-owned dog boarding business at their personal residence in Union Bridge. In early 2014, the clients, who operate 4 Bare Paws Doggie Camp in Frederick County, received a notice from local zoning authorities stating that their business was not in compliance with the Frederick County Zoning Ordinance.  The property was nearly three acres short of the minimum lot area requirement applicable to kennel operations, and fencing on the property was subject to a number of setback provisions.

Shawn and Chaz applied for a Special Exception and Variance on behalf of their clients to allow the dog boarding business, the sole source of income for the clients, to continue to operate in their agricultural zoned district despite these deficiencies. After two hearings with the Frederick County Board of Appeals, Shawn and Chaz were able to narrow the issues to just the minimum lot area requirement. Despite this hurdle, the Board of Appeals followed Shawn and Chaz’s arguments that the business was the most economically efficient use of the property and unanimously approved the clients’ applications for a Special Exception and Variance. Shawn and Chaz will be continuing to work with 4 Bare Paws Doggie Camp to gain the necessary site plan and health department approvals and to bring the operation into compliance with Frederick County regulations.

Video of the firm’s presentation to the Frederick County Board of Appeals can be found on the Frederick County government website:  http://frederick.granicus.com/MediaPlayer.php?view_id=5&clip_id=4654