Editor's note: A previous version of this story incorrectly omitted the word licensed when saying that Palm Beach County commissioners agreed not to take action against dog kennels operating in the county’s unincorporated residential areas while they consider a change to the county’s development rules. The exemption applies only to dog kennels that already have a permit to operate from the county’s animal care and control division.
Palm Beach County commissioners Thursday agreed to consider changing the county’s zoning rules to allow dog boarding kennels in unincorporated residential areas.
The commission directed county administrators to begin working on the change and agreed not to act against licensed kennels already operating in residential areas.
Several kennel owners told commissioners they received business tax receipts from the tax collector’s office and permits from the county’s Animal Care and Control division, but were later told their businesses violated zoning rules.
County planners said some of the business tax receipts were incorrectly issued for pet-sitting or dog-walking services.
Marshall Robinson, owner of M&M Cageless Dog Boarding in the Acreage, said his business provides a critical alternative for pet owners who do not want to send their animals to facilities where dogs are kept in cages.
“It is an essential thing in Palm Beach County,” Robinson told the commission
Zoning rules now allow private kennels in residential areas only if dogs boarded on the property are owned by the home’s occupants. Commercial kennels are prohibited in residential areas.
The proposed changes would let kennels operate as long as animals are boarded within the home. They also would require the property to be fenced and would limit the number of animals the business could board at one time.
Public hearings must be take place before the new rules can become official. That process is expected to take months.
Animal Care and Control Director Dianne Sauve said her department has not received complaints about kennels that have received permits to operate in residential areas.