Jaffrey Zoning Board approves pet breeding business, outdoor ‘catio’

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    Jaffrey Zoning Board Chair Lee Sawyer and member Phil Cournoyer rule on cases involving a dog breeding business and an outdoor "catio" for the Monadnock Kitty Rescue. Staff photo by Ashley Saari

  • Heidi Bourgeois of Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption speaks to the ZBA on Tuesday.  Staff photo by Ashley Saari—

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Published: 3/4/2020 8:40:14 PM

The Jaffrey Zoning Board of Adjustment gave the go-ahead for the construction of a fire exit and outdoor patio for cats to a local rescue during its Tuesday meeting. 

Heidi Bourgeois, adoption manager for Monadnock Kitty Rescue and Adoption, came before the board Tuesday to request a variance to build a screened-in, two-story porch on the back of the rescue, which would allow the cats to experience the outdoors while still being contained. 

The cat patio, or “catio” encroached less than two feet into the required setback.

The Monadnock Kitty Rescue is a no-kill shelter, and sometimes houses cats for years, Bourgeois told the board. The covered patio allows them to experience the outdoors.

“It’s like cat TV,” she said.

The board approved the variance with no restrictions.

The Zoning Board also gave approval to two special exceptions to allow a local designer dog breeder to continue her business.

Lori Connolly told the board she and her husband have already been breeding pomsky – husky and pomeranian crosses – on their property for years, but only recently reached the level to require state licensure by producing more than 25 puppies in a single year. Part of the state’s requirements are that the business meets all zoning requirements.

Connolly requested special exceptions to run a commercial kennel in the rural district and to have a home business in the rural district. While the town’s commercial kennel regulations allow for a broader range of activities than breeding dogs, abutters said they wouldn’t be comfortable with allowing those activities, even if Connolly has no plans to kennel, commercially groom or run a dog daycare in the future.

Abutter Kenneth Liebman said he has no issue with Connolly’s business as it’s run, but would have concerns about what future owners could do with the property if a commercial kennel could be run on it.

A list of restrictions, agreed upon by Liebman and Connolly, were suggested to the board, including that no dogs be kennelled outdoors, that there be no commercial grooming, no dog daycare, and that the special exception be specific to Thomas and Lori Connolly. The board accepted those suggestions and approved the special exception for a commercial kennel with those restrictions. The board also approved the special exception for a home-based business with no restrictions.

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

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