A Seymour woman ran a dog grooming business in a garage near her home.
Then Erin Sitterding was told that she needed a land use change to do this.
She requested this during a recent Seymour Plan Commission meeting and received a 7-3 positive recommendation, with Dave Eggers, Dan Robison and Jeri Wells casting dissenting votes. Angie Klakamp was missing.
Then the proposal was moved to the Seymour Board of Zoning Appeals for a final vote, which stood 3-1, with Eggers, who also sits on that board, giving the solitary no. Jason Kleber was absent.
This means the 12 x 20 foot garage on the property at 837 Phillips Lane has been granted C-2 (commercial) land use variance. It was previously categorized as R-1 (single family home).
Sitterding told both city councils that she would only clean a few dogs in her garage each day.
“I’m not going to keep dogs very long,” she said. “I wouldn’t keep dogs overnight. No meals or day care. I only want to look after dogs in and out by appointment. “
Robison asked Sitterding if she was currently running the business from her garage, and she said when she found out she needed a land use deviation, she stopped. She has been running the business since January.
Nathan Frey, who was the city engineer during the planning committee meeting, asked Sitterding about signage and parking. Sitterding said she only had a sticky label on her door and a metal tag by the door, and customers wouldn’t need long-term parking.
“It will only ever be one person,” she said. “I only want to work with dogs who are afraid, or whatever the case, that they cannot go to a big hair salon and it is better that they are not around other dogs.”
Mark Hays, a member of the planning commission, said the Seymour Police Department animal control officer had been called to the property three times in 2019, and Sitterding said this was related to her own dog. She was not caring for any other dogs at the time.
The only person speaking for the proposal was Kylee Shippee during the BZA meeting. She lives next door and has had Sitterding look after her dog since he was a puppy so he could get used to it.
“There weren’t any problems with grooming,” Shippee said. “I have no complaints and I think this is her calling and that she is meant to be, and I am delighted that she has a business to call her own. I’m totally in favor of her having her own business and I think it’s wonderful. “