Board allows kennel at Ohio Township home

City zoning officials have approved a dog trainer’s request to operate a boarding and training kennel at her residence.

The Columbus Board of Zoning Appeals voted 3-1 to give Lisa Korf a conditional use approval allowing a home-based business on her property. Board member Dave Fisher voted against the motion.

The property in question is located at 6170 W. County Road 450 South in Ohio Township, according to the city/county planning department’s staff report.

Conditional use approval is required for Korf’s business — which is titled “Hot Diggity Dog” — because her proposal exceeds some standards in regards to parking, signs and business area.

The board’s approval includes:

A maximum of eight dogs boarded at any time, with no access to their outdoor kennels between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m.

Up to a 2,600 square foot indoor training area

A maximum of five training classes per week with no more than six dogs per class

A 35-square-foot sign located along the fence

The approval does not include any employees at this time.

The training building is currently 1,200 square feet, but a future expansion may be needed to make it up to 2,600 square feet, the applicant said.

There will be six indoor/outdoor kennels using an existing garage building. Korf said there could be a maximum of eight boarded dogs because families sometimes want their two dogs boarded together in the same kennel. She would be willing to do this with two of the kennels.

When asked if she was proposing any dog breeding, Korf replied, “No, absolutely not.”

She did present some additional requests to the board, but these were not included in its approval. These items included the possibility of adding one employee at a future date, a swimming pool to train dogs for dock diving, and “occasional use” of a nearby field for training purposes.

Fisher’s concerns included the additional requests made by Korf, noise from behavioral training classes, and dogs being left unattended when Korf is away from the house.

“I think she’s a trainer,” he said. “I think she knows what she’s talking about when she says they will be well-behaved and stay in their kennels, but I know accidents happen.”

Fisher also cited the number of residents near Korf’s property who spoke up about her request.

During the time for public comment, some of her neighbors discussed concerns about the business, including animal waste, the maximum number of dogs on the property, noise, impact on property values, loose and/or dangerous dogs, whether the business is suitable for a residential area and the dangers of nearby State Road 58.

As stated in the staff report, the eight-dog maximum only refers any dogs being boarded in the kennels overnight. It does not include any dogs on the premises for training classes, Korf’s own dogs or any dogs she might foster. Korf expects the average number of dogs being boarded overnight would be two to three dogs.

“I’m not looking to make this as expansive as possible,” she said. “I’m actually looking to have a nice, small-scale operation that is actually respectful of my neighbors, because I appreciate the quiet of the neighborhood as well.”

The maximum number of dogs on the property would be about 16, counting her own two dogs, eight boarders and six in a training class. If Korf were to foster any dogs, she would only take in one at a time. Her own dogs would be kept in the house during training classes, and the boarded dogs would be in their kennels during classes.

“I envision that there could be periods of a couple of hours during which I am away from the property, at which point the dogs would be put indoors inside their kennels,” she said.

While some neighbors expressed concern about this, she said that other kennels and shelters also have times when no one is at the business and dogs are housed inside.

As far as sound, Korf said that when boarded dogs are out in the training yard, they will be under her supervision, and she would reign in any noisy behavior. Based on her experience, she doesn’t expect much noise from the kennels. She also believes that fencing around the kennels will help reduce noise.