Fenton Township Planning Commission rejects request for dog daycare

FENTON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WNEM) – A woman’s dream is on hold after the Fenton Township Planning Commission rejects her application for a special land use permit.

Allore Sharp dreamed of opening Ruffy Ranch Retreat, a luxury daycare for dogs, this summer.

“I’ve been told that it’s rare that these things don’t get approved. I entered into this process last December when I started planning commission meetings,” Sharp said.

Sharp hoped to build the retreat on the southeast corner of Linden and Lahring Roads, property she had zoned for agricultural purposes to allow animals.

For nearly two years, she worked with the commission to address concerns and issues about the potential construction, to no avail.

“I made every change they asked of me meaningful to the first planning commission and every meeting we go to, I show the changes they asked for, but they always denied. So it was kind of like I was chained up to look like they would end up approving it,” Sharp said.

TV5 spoke with Michael Deem, Zoning Administrator for the Township of Fenton. He says the commission understands there is a need for the business in the community,

The deed’s restrictions on the property in question made it difficult to approve the application.

“There were conditions that limited the type of structure to a single family residence, there was no farm animal care. And so, the intent of these act restrictions was to limit the kinds of uses,” Deem said.

Sharp was aware of the restrictions for a single-family home, but says that doesn’t stop him from running a home-based business.

But Deem says the property would have been for commercial, not residential use.

“This is a business that has increased traffic usage, there are nuisances associated with animals, although I understand that the applicant has taken all necessary steps to mitigate them. This is even more than you would expect based on ownership restrictions,” Deem said.

Sharp says she will look to find commercial property if she cannot use the property on Linden Road.