City leaders have denied a request to PetSuites to board local pets. SUBMITTED

The city’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen recently denied a request from the national chain PetSuites amid concern that the pet boarding and grooming facility would be disruptive to nearby homeowners.

The resolution to approve a final development plan for the property along East Main Street between Maple Drive and Maple Row Boulevard, and to add animal care and veterinarian service to the list of permitted uses for the property, was recommended 7 to 1 by the Hendersonville Regional Planning Commission on Feb. 4.

The property that backs up to homes along Burrus Avenue was originally rezoned to office, planned development in 1985.  In 2017, the property was rezoned to a general commercial use that allowed for an indoor storage facility. However, the storage facility was never built.

Besides an indoor storage facility, approved uses for the property include financial, consulting and administrative services; general business and communication services; and medical and non-medical professional services.

PetSuites, a company with 31 locations in 11 U. S. states, proposed an 11,000-square-feet facility with an outdoor play area.

When some residents expressed concerns about the potential noise and smells the facility could create at the Feb. 25 Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting, BOMA members voted to defer the request back the city’s General Committee.

The General Committee met March 10, just before the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

Marty Cook, a local attorney representing PetSuites, told BOMA members on March 10 that the owners went back to the drawing board following the Feb. 25 meeting and made several changes to their submittal.

The company worked with the planning department to relocate dumpsters as far as possible from homeowners and agreed to have the dumpsters emptied three times a week, Cook noted.

A play area was also moved as far away from homes as possible, Cook added. Owners had already agreed that no dogs would be outside the facility between the hours of 8:30 p.m. and 7:30 a.m.

When Ward 6 Alderman Eddie Roberson asked what the maximum number of dogs could be outside at one time, Cook didn’t give a specific number, but said that dogs are always under staff supervision when they are outside.

Ward 1 Alderwoman Peg Petrelli said the company has a “stellar” reputation, but added she’s concerned the property is too narrow for this type of facility.

“I implore you to consider Hendersonville still,” said Petrelli.

Ward 2 Alderman Scott Sprouse said the property is unique in that it is zoned commercial and fronts Main Street – a state road - yet it is close to several homes.

Sprouse said many of his concerns were addressed by the company, but he still had questions about the amount of noise the facility could potentially generate.

Sprouse, along with Ward 2 alderman Pat Campbell, asked if the board could defer its vote until the company’s Murfreesboro facility was up and running so aldermen could visit that site.

Petrelli noted visiting that site wouldn’t be comparable if it wasn’t at full capacity.

Campbell’s motion to defer until aldermen could tour the Murfreesboro facility failed 8 to 4.

A motion to approve PetSuite’s request to allow animal care and veterinary services as a permitted use for the property failed 10 to 2. Mayor Jamie Clary and Ward 4 Alderman Andy Bolt voted for the proposal. Ward 3 Alderman Russ Edwards was absent from the meeting.

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