Animal service minor businesses now allowed in downtown Seymour


A local dog grooming business that was wanting to expand with a location in downtown Seymour recently had to request a land use variance.

That’s because in the process, Andrew Skaggs with Skaggs Builders and A & G Leasing learned that type of business wasn’t allowed according to the city’s C-4 zoning classification. Dog boarding and overnight stays aren’t allowed downtown, either.

A lease agreement already had been signed with Unleashed Grooming, Daycare and Boarding to move into the first floor of the remodeled building at 108 W. Second St. That location would only do dog grooming.

Because another grooming business, The Dapper Dog at 221 St. Louis Ave., operated in the downtown, Skaggs said he assumed it was OK for Unleashed to lease the first floor of his building.

During this process, Building Commissioner Jeremy Gray suggested the Seymour Common Council may want to look at rewriting the zoning laws to allow dog grooming businesses downtown. At one time, that type of business was allowed, and there was even a pet store downtown. Since the ordinance changed at one point, though, neither of those was allowed.

After two readings of an amended ordinance unanimously passed 7-0, animal service minor businesses are now allowed in the downtown. Those include a pet shop, a pet grooming salon, a pet supply store or similar use.

The animal service major businesses section of the ordinance also was amended to say a boarding kennel or other animal care use that includes outdoor runs or facilities, an animal hospital or veterinary clinic, a pet day care or similar use are not allowed in the downtown.

Councilman Bret Cunningham, chair of the planning and zoning committee and also a member of the Seymour Plan Commission, said these changes arose from the land use variance request. The plan commission voted 7-2 to pass the request on to the Seymour Board of Zoning Appeals with a favorable recommendation. Cunningham and Dave Eggers cast the dissenting votes.

The BZA voted 3-1 to approve the land use variance with Eggers, who also sits on that board, again voting nay.

“The plan commission is supposed to have guidelines by what they approve, and when you have the majority go against what really they should be approving, in my opinion, because it didn’t fit the criteria, I think we have two options,” Cunningham told the council. “Either plan commission needs to change or we need to look at what the laws are. I think in this case, we certainly need to look at what the laws are.”

Cunningham said he’s not sure why the ordinance was changed many years ago to not allow pet stores or pet supply stores in the downtown because he remembers a pet store being there when he was a kid.

“We have changed some of the language as far as what is animal service major and minor to help separate some of that,” he said of the latest ordinance amendments.

On Sept. 5, Oasis Unleashed Pet Grooming opened for business in the downtown building.

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