This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on March 28, 2006 11:02 AM. The previous post in this blog was Portland parks: the next scam?. The next post in this blog is Turning the screws on Saltzman. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Dogged out

A reader writes:

Have you heard about what the city has done to Dog Day Afternoon, a NW Raleigh dog daycare facility? I'm a customer of it and can't believe what has happened. It's located on a commercial block of NW Raleigh, next door to a George Morlan Plumbing and a dress shop. The owner of the dress shop (who lives behind it) has fought DDA continuously because of barking, enlisting the aid of Randy Leonard, and has finally gotten DDA to close down. There was a more detailed report on it last night on KATU. The owner Jennifer Day has gotten copies of emails Leonard wrote on the matter and they're pretty amazing. Apparently, the county, which enforces the city and county animal control ordinances, felt that DDA was in compliance with all applicable ordinances. Leonard wrote that he wanted all city funding to the county of animal ordinance enforcement activity to end "ASAP" unless the county did what he wanted. Not surprising, the county came down hard on Jennifer and she says they told her they'd impound all dogs at her facility after the end of the month. Hence, she's closing and laying off all of her employees.
I know there's more to the story than this and there are always two sides, but it just seems that Jennifer's getting screwed by the city and county. She invested a lot of money building out the facility, paying for permits and licenses, and now legal fees. The facility is not in a residential block, but a commercial block. Jennifer has gotten affidavits from all the other businesses, including Morlan, attesting to what a good neighbor she's been, but one complainant has gotten Randy Leonard on her side.

Given what Leonard said in the Oregonian this morning about the downtown fur shop, it's not surprising that he's coming down hard on a small business like DDA. I hope you'll write about this in your blog.
No need -- you just did.

Comments (189)

This needs to go to every assignment desk in the city.

I would be very interested to know the ordinances that Leonard is claiming that DDA violated. From the reader's note, it sounds as though he overrode inspectors who had already determined that no ordinances were being violated.

Also, unless I'm mistaken, a councilmember can't just up and order all city funding of (insert county agency here) to cease, can he?

County Animal Services is a malleable agency that has been running scared for a long time. For, among other things, unnecessary animal killing and refusal to implement task force recommendations. I often rant about this. Right now, there are posts on Craigslist about how MCAS will tell people it will hold animals and, when they arrive to pick them up, they are already dead. Happened all the time in my years of observing the agency. We've asked Diane Linn to hire Nathan Winograd www.nokillsolutions.org, to do an audit. My guess is that Lisa Naito, who numbers sleazebuckets and liars among her constituents, is blocking it.
Some of us have long been pushing for mediation where there are neighborhood animal problems. Sometimes, though, what happens is the complaint driven system can be used to make a point that has nothing to do with animals.

There's gotta be more to the story than this. You might have noticed the rapid proliferation of doggie daycare places across the city -- they've become a priority for PDC investment. Amazingly, every one of 'em continues to be booked solid.

p.s. Beware to the politician who runs afoul of dog owners in Portland. After the $50 pledge and the generalized incumbent-hatred, one big reason that Tom Potter beat Jim Francesconi was Francesconi's blithe attitude to the dog murders in Laurelhurst park. It's all anyone would talk about in the dog parks that summer -- "why doesn't that F***'ing Francesconi care about our dogs?"

Portlanders are generally dog crazy, much more so than most cities -- don't want to get on the wrong side of that silent political force.

The Northwest Nonsense (audio intro)
Mark Twain preferred to keep his mouth shut and have people think he was an idiot…than to speak and remove all doubt. Portland City Commissioner Randy Leonard has now removed all doubt about his idiocy and the city’s business unfriendly reputation. Yesterday on the talk show…police commander Dave Benson admitted that he had advised Greg Schumacher to move his family’s fur business out of Portland…if he didn’t like the harassment he’s getting at his new downtown location. Schumacher fur has been in Portland more than a hundred years. Then fireman Randy weighs in to the Schumacher’s…telling them their refusal to shut down one day a week for the protests…made them part of the problem
I’ll bet if Leonard had people picketing in the public hallway outside his city office…and red paint thrown on his walls…and threats posed to his employees and his constituents…he’d just call the cops and have them hauled away. But then the fireman belongs to the Government class…which as we all know has greater rights in Greater Havana on the Willamette…than do the business owners who pay his salary. My protest happened this morning when I called my friend John Fund at the Wall street journal…who says he will tell the whole country the Schumacher’s story next week.

I just walked across the street to confirm they are closing. (I work on the same commercial street where they are located, a bit down and across from the plumbing store, down the block from Platt Lithograph. At the other end of of the block from the boarded-up warehouse where a literary homeless man regularly sleeps. Around the corner from more warehouses...)

The young woman I spoke to was in tears. She said yes, they were closing. A man came in to see if they had room to take his dog later this week. She told him no, they were closing. She confirmed that they have been told that if there are any dogs there after the 31st -- they will be impounded.

I told her I was very sorry to see them go. I take our dog there to be groomed. I can see him sitting in the window getting dried off. They do a fine job, and are exceptionally gentle -- they've never cut him, even on a close clip.

re: Schumacher Fur: Gee whiz! Since when is it the "job" of the city council or the cops to decide the operating hours of a business.
As for DDA, I would really like to know more about that situation. Seems like the time for neighborhood complaints was before they moved in, not after!

Maybe the dressmaker is a dangerous small business and Fireman Randy is rescuing the dogs.

I went ahead and listened to LARS when I heard Randy was going to be on this morning.

I love it when LARS professed to have his famous "no dog in the fight" except that he had bought his wife a fur coat at Schumacher’s several years earlier, and then hearing a Schumacher’s commercial midway through the Leonard interview.

We just rented the video of "Good Night and Good Luck" Murrow was right.

I saw this story on KATU last night and was shocked at the poor quality of the reporting. It seems to me to be nothing more than media sensationalization aimed at dog lovers.

The story began by making it look like it was just a dispute between the owners of Dog Day Afternoon and a neighbor who was complaining about loud barking from this new dog daycare facility.

It then seemed to morph into a "Randy Leonard abusing his power" type story, with him "threatening" to withold funding for the county if they didn't do something.

In reality it wouldn't matter if the dog daycare facility were completely sound proof, and Randy Leonard's inquiry regarding funding is really just a smokescreen hiding the fact that Dog Day Afternoon is apparently in violation of city ordinances.

Mentioned briefly in passing during the news piece was the fact that the City of Portland has an ordinance which requires "Specified Animal Facilities" to be permitted only when they are "at least 25 feet from any building used or capable of being used for human habitation, not including the applicant’s own dwelling."

Apparently Dog Day Afternoon was in violation of this section of the City code, and the County has the obligation of enforcing the code. It seems to me to be perfectly valid for a City commissioner to questioner whether or not the county should continue to receive funding when they are refusing to enforce the city code.

Now, if you think the code itself is unreasonable, that's a different story. But, at least in my eyes, there is nothing inappropriate about enforcing existing law. And it's a shame that the owner of Dog Day Afternoon was either unaware of or ignored city regulations governing her business - but as we've all heard, ignorance of the law is no defense.

Wow, has John Fund's status been taken so low that he'd bother spending his time on as lame a story as a furrier being hassled several thousand miles away? Then again, if he's hanging with Lars that might make sense. They aren't exactly barnstorming the conservative intellectual circuit.

If the county told DDA that it was in compliance when it opened, but then tells them it has to close because it is now NOT in complance, AND no changes have been made to zoning laws, etc. then I'd say the county owes DDA reimbursement for all costs related to her improvement/modification of the property for DDA use.

And if this is due to some change in zoning laws that occurred after she established DDA, shouldn't there be a grandfather clause that would exempt her business?

Thanks for the cite, Nader. The provision is not as clear as it might be, but I guess habitation reasonably refers to commercial occupancy, although the word "dwelling" means residence in common parlance.

Anne Dufay's point is well-taken. What happened during the approval process?

Ahem. This post is not about Schumacher's, although Randy's apparently rubbing fur the wrong way all over town.

BTW, it was fun hearing him stand up to Lars on the air. Randy won that one, from what I heard.


My observation of MCAS is that it is a fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants agency too busy sucking up to animal use groups and Sharon Harmon of Oregon Humane Society to do anything right vis a vis the public.

I have to say that the idea that a business owner would knowingly violate such an obvious city ordinance does not pass the smell test. I mean, this isn't some wonky ordinance that only some bureaucrat would know--this is a very simple regulation saying that this type of business must be 25 feet away from humans. Why would you spend untold thousands of dollars to rehab a facility when you were located too close to human habitation? You could very easily just choose another location, right? Seems to me like the owner of DDA was told that everything was on the up and up, and then found out once somebody complained that she was in violation of some ordinance. In that scenario, it's the city's fault, not the owners.

The director of Multnomah County Animal control is the party responsible for issuing permits. What does Mike Oswald have to say?

If you have more hair than Randy, you gotta go!

I'm guessing the issue is actually "human habitation" as in actual living quarters -- the owners of the next door business (a ladies used clothing shop, not a "dressmaker") who are complaining, live behind their shop.

I presume Dog Day was issued a city permit by, I'm guessing BDS? to operate at that site. (In which case, Commissioner Leonard's involvement makes more sense.) And, at the time that permit was issued one assumes any problems with siting vis-a-vis city code would have been dealt with -- I believe the code requires that. All of this might fairly lead a well-intentioned small business owner to believe they were in compliance with any applicable city codes that might impact their ability to legally do business at a site, no?

Or, at least the city didn't notice they were not, and if the city didn't, why would anyone expect a small business owner to? Or, perhaps the city does not routinely enforce that bit of code?

The story is obviously complicated and no doubt has, at least, two sides. The telling of it, to date, seems garbled and confused, and I've no doubt important parts are missing, or miss-stated. I'd guess, too, that goofy zoning plays a part.

But it's sad. A run-down building was fixed up, a thriving business was established. And what will become of the building next? A late night lounge seems likely to me. After all, a great deal of money has already been spent to soundproof the place. Enough, so I have been told, that the noise of the barking dogs was in compliance with city noise allowances. Just, not enough to satisfy the neighbors.

its called third world ideals of laws.

And people really are surprised businesses are moving to the 'burbs? Yay for Washington County, I guess....

If you have more hair than Randy, you gotta go!

Randy's probably just afraid that Amanda's going to pour blood on the firemen's disability fund.


Sounds like a great lawsuit to me. If the City didn't know a doggy day care was going to generate some barking, then shame (and damages) on the city for permitting a facility and then revoking it without cause.

Headline: Doggie Day Care bites City Commissioner on the ass.

The City of Portland contracts with the Multnomah county to enforce our code with respect to the placement of animal day care facilities.

When I received the complaint from the neighbor of Dog Day Afternoon I did as I always do for every person who seeks help from my office, I investigated it.

We discovered the city has a code (enforced by the county via an intergovernmental agreement) that prohibits the placement of dog care facilities closer than 25 feet to homes. This facility was 15 feet away from the home next door.

The link to the actual city code that readers may want to review for themselves is here.

I also learned that the city pays the county to enforce that code. The county, for whatever reason, was not enforcing that provision and in fact told my office that they did not intend to enforce it.

When I learned the county was holding up their end of the bargain I asked that the money we pay the county to enforce our code be stopped and we, the city, begin enforcing our code.

I don't know if everyone can understand what their life would be like if a full time, 24/365 animal boarding facility opened one day next to your home. But for the woman who came to my office for help, it is fair to say she felt as though she was sentenced to live in Hell.

It is not a good fit to allow an overnight animal boarding facility to be located next door to a home.

The dog business might want to investigate its next door neighbor's business that has living quarters. BES may find the zoning doesn't allow living quarters in the C zone. If there is an allowance some how, are the living quarters meeting all the regulations (fire, safety, etc.) required in the C zone? Tit for Tat.

There are so many codes, zoning variations- usually you can find something to throw as gernades. The city is good at finding "codes" in it's endless code books to stop anything they want.Urban Warfare.

It is not a good fit to allow an overnight animal boarding facility to be located next door to a home.

Certainly. But, Randy, you have to admit that it's poor form for the city to grant a business license, construction permits (I assume, for it sounds as though the owner rehab'd the building), and etc. without bothering to check if the type of business violated a fairly uncomplicated zoning regulation.

Up until now only Multnomah County has had the authority to enforce Title 13, the regulation that prohibits animal care facilities to be located within 25 feet of a residence, via an intergovernmental agreement that we pay money to the county to enforce.

That is a mistake. BDS should also have the ability to enforce that code provision as well.

As soon as I discovered the existence of this code and that Multnomah County was not enforcing this provision, I asked the director of BDS, Paul Scarlett, to work on preparing language that gave both BDS and the county enforcemet authority over Title 13.

There is an explosion of these types of businesses in Portland. It is inexcusable for this provision to exist in code and not be strictly and consistently enforced.

I am taking steps to assure this kind of circustance does not happen again.

One of the possible problems here is that the ordinance in question isn't part of the zoning code. Someone who wants to open a dog boarding facility might reasonably ask the zoning people if the facility is allowed in a particular commercial zone, get a "yes" answer, pay land use fees, and start up, without coming across this regulation.

Could the doggie daycare operator put up a wall or screen within her building, and keep the animals to one side of it, so as to meet the 25-foot rule?

This issue is not about "visual" issues. It is all about a number of dogs that are boarded within the facility that bark 24 hours a day.

No person could live for long next to such a facility...nor should they have to.

Once again, you are absolutely right. We are attempting to address that issue in bringing Title 13 within the codes that BDS enforces

The facility (must be) located on the applicant’s property so as to be at least 25 feet from any building used or capable of being used for human habitation...

The code language seems very problematic. Thinking of the Pearl District, lofts, flexible work spaces...what building isn't capable of being "used for human habitation"?

No...I wouldn't want to live next door to a 24-hour doggie day care center, and dog groomer. But this is an industrial area, isn't it? I don't understand how permits were issued for this business to operate here, and then we tell them, what, the permits were issued in error? So we shut 'em down?

Our dog, Homz, is very, very disappointed.

It's government acting tin-eared and silly, whether it's technically right or not. The difference between 15 feet and 25 feet isn't going to keep anyone from hearing the dogs bark -- that's totally specious, meaning the entire pearl-clutching "living in Hell" thing is totally specious as well. A 25-foot rule doesn't promise residents they won't hear dogs barking. It does little more than promise that the dogs won't be underfoot. If you want an ordinance requiring dogs to be kept out of barking distance, then write that ordinance, but that's not the ordinance being enforced here. The harm that you're waxing indignant about doesn't come, in other words, from the code violation, since a business in compliance with the code would present exactly the same problem.

If the dogs were 25 feet away, the place would be totally legal, and the dogs would still be audible, so there would presumably have to be some response other than this. Whatever kind of problem-solving would have been involved in that scenario, it would have been nice if somebody had tried it, rather than going in all Official City Government Gasbag and shutting the place down to the detriment of the community and the customers and the business, all for the purpose of earning silence for people who aren't promised silence under the ordinance anyway.

Living in the city means noise. Portland doesn't have an ordinance ANYTHING like one that would keep such a faciilty out of the city, it appears. Therefore, every now and then, complainers may need to be told to get a grip or move. Technically, Randy may be on reasonable ground, but it's not the way government ought to behave. This is a bad outcome that could have been avoided, and there are times when the iron fist doesn't necessarily need to be the first response.

"Sentenced to live in hell," indeed. I agree with Jack -- move the dogs to the other side of the property and see what happens.

Dogs boarded indoors don't bark around the clock. They settle down at night and sleep (with the exception of puppies, which usually are boarded at day care).

The neighbor has employed hyperbole to seek political intervention and inter-governmental sniping. Randy swallowed the bait, hook, line, and sinker: he doesn't seem to understand the responsibility of the bureaucracy shifted once the facility was sited and permitted. I hope the Doggy Day care owner sues the City of Portland to recover her costs and damages.

Here's a related idea: let's research the Federal Highway regulations to see if there are any provisions that would prohibit the suspension of an aerial tram over the interstate free system: a back door Tram shut down might be in the offing.

Make that "puppies, which are NOT usually boarded at day care"...

Also: I'm quite serious about the Federal Highway regulations and the tram. Play up the Homeland Security angle: what if terrorists blow up the intermediate tower, and you have thick heavy cables strewn across I-5?

The Tram has not obtained either the Federal or ODOT approvals.

But obvioulsy there must be some assurances.

Unless city leaders were "fooled".

I live in a residential neighborhood and wouldn't want barking dogs next door either. However, Dog Day Afternoon isn't on a residential street. It's hard to feel sorry for someone who chooses to live in a commercial zone and then complains about the noise. As for Randy's "hell" comment, my understanding is that DDA spent thousands to soundproof the place, had sound tests conducted and satisfied city sound ordinances. And dogs do sleep at night and there are very few dogs there over the weekend. So the noise is not 24/7, as Randy says. I've always heard that Portland is not big business friendly (how many major corporations are headquartered here?), but always thought Portland was friendly to small businesses. Given Randy's comments about this business and the fur shop, it seems that he's doing his part to give Portland a reputation as being small business unfriendly as well. Randy has put the owner of DDA through "hell" - that's for sure.

Linda, your point about the difference between 15 feet and 25 feet having nothing to do with whether neighbors can hear dogs bark may be true, but it has everything to do with the law.

Lawmakers will always have to draw lines that, at least on some level are arbitrary (why can we drink at 21, or vote at 18?).

The point is that here DDA was in violation of the city code. While I think they may have defense (both legal and moral) in arguing that the county, who is responsible for enforcing the code, invited reliance on their continued non-enforcement, the simple fact of the matter is the letter of the law is clear, relatively unambiguous (as far as city ordinances go), and extremely easy to find. The link to the law I posted above was found in under 5 minutes.

It seems to me that any prospective business owner should engage in "due dilligence" any time he or she plans to start a business. The city has a clear set of regulations in the subsection entitled "Animals", which is probably the best place to look if you are opening a dog daycare. I sympathize with the owner of DDA, but not because I think she's being treated unfairly - rather because one small mistake may cost her the business she started and loves.

Is the place not allowed to seek a variance, and stay open while seeking one? Or is this ordinance not subject to variances?

Obviously we don't know the whole story, but this looks to be the City's mistake in issuing permits at odds with City code. I think it's reasonable for the public to believe that, regardless of who has enforcement responsibility, City permits will comprehensively account for City code. (If that's an unreasonable expectation, then we have bigger problems, don't we?)

If it is the City's mistake, then the City should make this right for the owner. Not necessarily by allowing the business to stay in that location (it makes sense for pre-existing residences to have priority) but perhaps by helping them to find another location, expediting new permits, and compensating them for money they spent based on the bum permit.

It's a hell of a lot better way to spend development money than some other projects discussed around here.

Today's scripture reading from the SoWa Development Agreement:

5.2.12 I-5 Overflight Approvals
In order to authorize the operation of the Tram over Interstate 5, the following are Basic Contingencies. All Parties are benefited by these Basic Contingencies. PDOT shall have obtained authorization from the Oregon Department of Transportation (“ODOT”), allowing the Tram to operate over portions of Macadam Avenue and Interstate 5, for so long as the Tram exists, on terms and conditions acceptable to PDOT, NMI and OHSU and consistent with Exhibits G-1 and G-2. The Parties shall have determined that no consent is necessary from the Federal Highway Administration for the operation of the Tram over I-5, for so long as the Tram exists or, if such consent is necessary, then the Federal Highway Administration has given Final Approval for the operation of the Tram over I-5.

Pretty boring, huh? Check this from the 7th Amendment: I-5 Overflight Approvals (ODOT/FHWA) Late start: 08/22/03 Late completion: Deleted

What does "deleted" mean? The tin-foil-hat person in me thinks that the parties to the Agreement have taken see-hear-speak-no-evil cum damn-the-torpedoes approach where overflight approvals are sought after the Tram [rimshot] is beyond the point of no return.

I'm curious whether we are now going to go after all the other doggie daycares in the city which violate this previously un-enforced code?

If not, I certainly don't support going after this one single facility. That's like saying, we've got this old law on the books against, oh, say sodomy, we don't ever enforce it, but now your neighbor is complaining about you, so you, and you alone, will be targeted by our selective enforcement of this law.

Folks who work near me are taking bets on who the next tenant of this recently highly sound-proofed building on a commercial street right off NW 23rd will be. An after-hours rave joint? A sex club? A tavern?

Too bad we couldn't have found a way to let sleeping dogs lie.

I am counsel to DDA and have attempted to bring some sanity into this whole ordeal. The City regulation Randy Leonard cites is not enforced by the County due to a 1978 agreement between the City and the County under which (a) the County would be responsible for enforcing animal control regulations in the City; and (b) the County and the City would need to agree on future animal control ordinances. Because the County did not consent to the facility regulations presently in Chapter 13 of the City Code, the County does not enforce them.

But, in order to preserve funding for enforcement and its jurisdiction in the city, MCAS is attempting to apply a noise standard to DDA that is not applicable to dog care facilities (the County's barking ordinance exempts dog care facilities that are properly zoned, but MCAS' position is that DDA is not properly zoned because barking can be heard beyond the boundaries of the facility).

MCAS issued DDA $1600 in fines for violating the barking ordinance, and threatend to impound dogs due to this violation unless DDA soundproofed the facility at an estimated cost of $20,000 (interestingly enough, the County's regs for dog care facilities does not include a noise standard). Although I'm certain that we'd win on appeal, the time and cost of this litigation expense coupled with the loss of cash flow was more than the business could bear, so DDA made the economic decision to shut down.

If anyone is interested in more of the specifics, please feel free to e-mail me.

Codes schmodes....we need some common sense here. Whether 15 feet or 25 feet, the neighbor would hear dogs, period. The permits should have never been granted in the first place it seems. It's not the business owner's fault that people screwed up. The business owner deserves apologies and perhaps restitution. It's very expensive to start up a business, and she has clearly been royally shafted. This is not her problem, but a problem between the unhappy neighbor and the city and county.

I'm thinking that the former doggy day care should be turned into a non-profit soup kitchen for Portland's homeless folks, or maybe a methadone clinic, or perhaps a needle exchange location. She'll then be dreaming of the day when she lived thru the "hell" of barking dogs.

Yes, I am mean. ; )

I understand that they're in violation of the ordinance. I didn't say they weren't.

There's a difference between a government behaving illegally and a government behaving stupidly. Shutting this business down was both legal and stupid.

Just to clarify -- my understanding from talking to the staff at DDA is that the $20,000 MCAS was requiring for sound-proofing was in addition to all they have already spent for that purpose.

I just stepped across the street to verify that. (As per usual I couldn't hear any barking outside, but once I opened the door I could.) The staff person confirmed that the daycare area is walled in insulated concrete with extra insulation in the ceiling as well, to dampen the sound. (A big open room, suitable for a bar, a band and a dance floor. The grooming room could be converted into the video (official term not allowed, but think, "card game" here) room, office, same. Drunks can pee or pass out in the shrubbery conveniently planted next door.)

She said they'd had lots of sound-checks done and all had shown they were operating within the legal decible limits.

She said they were told that even if they did the additional sound-proofing, it probably wouldn't effect the outcome. Which makes sense, since distance, not noise, is the code the city is "using" here.

So, in context, this starts to look a little more like a power play by RL. Thanks for the background jmn; I still would like to hear MCAS explain itself. If RL has so much power with the county, maybe HE could convince Diane Linn to order an audit of its performance since the 2000 task force recommendations.

Because I am inquisitive, I did a bit of research...

1. DDA applied for and received a building permit to perform their tenant improvement. Part of this process was a throrough review of the zoning and occupancy regulations applicable to this property.

2. At no time during the City's plan-checking process was the issue of sound insulation brought up. The general consensus was that this is a commercial area, and as such, some noise is to be expected. Furthermore, DDA does not have an outdoor play area that is common at other facilities, which thus far the City has not condemned.

3. Upon receipt of the neighbors complaints, a very prominent and reputable construction company did extensive sound testing in and around the property. Upon conclusion of their testing, they installed what they believed to be the appropriate level of sound-deadening insulation and soundproof windows. This was a $30,000 good-faith effort on the part of DDA and their landlord to mitigate the problem. Apparently, reducing the noise to below the legal level means nothing when your neighbor is hell-bent on shutting you down.

4. There are far worse neighbors to have than a doggy day care. Poetic justice may prevail.

5. Apparently, the neighboring "resale clothing" business who has driven this whole process is suing DDA for a substantial sum of money. I guess it's not enough to shut down a LEGAL small business, depriving them of the fruits of their labor and their many dollars spent renovating the place. I guess its not enough to put gainfully employed people out of work. I guess it's not enough to deprive customers of their pet's favorite playground. I wonder if their "resale clothing" facility is fully ADA compliant? I wonder if a wheelchair bound person can reach every piece of merchandise in the place? I wonder if their restrooms are up to code? Hmmmmm....

I know more about this matter of DDA than most of the people that are commenting on this subject. I am a friend of Jennifer’s and have helped her on her business a great deal and have seen the Hell!!!!! that Randy Leonard, MCAS, and Seams To Fit( the complaining business next door) have put her through. I for one know that she had all permits, licenses and proper zoning codes in place before she opened the doors with the ok from The City of Portland and MCAS. Randy Leonard is a liar about DDA not having the proper permits and running her facility illegally. The only reason that this has happened is because of Sherry Linder the owner of Seams to Fit has complained so much that they choose to shut DDA down to satisfy one resident. I will also say that the building has been sound proofed and even when you stand in the drive way of Seams To Fit you can’t even hear any dogs barking. This woman as no just cause to inundate MCAS with complaints about dogs barking and further more she has made statements that she isn’t going to stop until DDA is out of business. I also want to add that she made complaints about dogs barking on nights when DDA didn’t have any dogs over night and the MCAS still fined DDA for noise complaints. There are seriously some major problems with the way Randy Leonard and MCAS run our city and should be looked in too. DDA has taken more effort to appease the next door neighbor than any other Dog day care in town. I know of several dog day cares that have no sound proofing and outside areas for the dogs i.e. Howliday Inn ,Doggie Central, Lexidog, No Bonz about it, just to mention a few. To top it off some of these day cares don’t even have to have a licenses! It sounds like the City and County make up their own rules as they feel necessary and to favor those that they want.

It’s no wonder that we have problems with encouraging new business growth in down town.

I think that is time for Randy Leonard to be roemoved from office, after all he should be representing the good of the city and he is anything but!!! Also don't shop at Seams to Fit because that women Sherry Linder is a bad representative of begin a good neighboir.

It seems the solution is for a group of protesters to walk back and forth in front of the dress shop waving signs and walking their dogs. Maybe that will get randy to listen.

He who yells loudest...

It seems to me that any prospective business owner should engage in "due dilligence" any time he or she plans to start a business. The city has a clear set of regulations in the subsection entitled "Animals", which is probably the best place to look if you are opening a dog daycare. I sympathize with the owner of DDA, but not because I think she's being treated unfairly - rather because one small mistake may cost her the business she started and loves.

Thats BS. Its up to the city or the county to make sure no codes are violated...they issue the permits after all.

It seems that a number of commenters here have a very lax opinion of the law, and a somewhat skewed perception of the facts.

The law as written is clear, and equally clear is the fact that DDA was in violation of that law. It seems to me that no amount of soundproofing would bring it into compliance - 25 feet is 25 feet, whether or not there are egg crates or walls separating the facility from a residence.

Now, I respect anyone who thinks that the 25 foot rule is unreasonable - maybe it need only be 15 feet, or maybe it should vary based on the existing use of the neighborhood. As some have pointed out, industrial neighborhoods perhaps need less distance than residential ones.

But this is a question of legislation not enforcement. And as far as the enforcement goes, I'm sure there are a whole slough of various buildings and homes that are not complying with the law in some form or another, but which escape enforcement because no one complains.

In this case someone did complain, and I'm not sure how much mileage DDA could get out of a arguing that they are being singled out because the rule isn't being enforced against other dog daycares. Think of it this way, if you get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt in your car do you think you can get off because lots of other people don't wear seatbelts either and they don't get tickets?

"4. There are far worse neighbors to have than a doggy day care. Poetic justice may prevail."

Anyone looking for a location to open their new adult video store?

Anyone looking for a location to open their new adult video store?

C'mon...you know those only go up near residential areas. Its where the customer base is. Thats why people complain so much about them...their neighbors might see them go there.
Its not a moral issue..its a social one.


I don't think the cop/ticket analogy is a good one. It reasonably easy-using the due diligence standard you laud- for government to assure that similarly situated property owners are situated similarly, whereas it would be nearly impossible to catch every seat belt cheater. Years ago I worked in code enforcement for a city government whose lawyers warned us not to single out offenders based on complaints. There is a real equal protection concern here, methinks.
The other thing I am wondering about is what type of commercial zone -the city has several- it is where DDA is located and how dog facilities are permitted there-of right?, conditional use permit? Anyone know?

Granted, the law is the law; however, the reference cited by Mr Leonard states that variances to the code may be granted. If the permits were issued in error, wouldn't it be fair to tell DDA not to board dogs (thereby eliminating any potential after hours noise) but let them to continue doggy day care (and allowing the business to maintain an income and its viability) until there had been a fair review of the situation?

Oops! Correction. I meant "similarly situated property owners are treated similarly".

Also, nader, look at DDA's lawyer's post about the 1978 agreement between the city and county. It sounds like there is more to it than the black letter of the law in this case.


One more thing on "the law is the law". There is a zoning concept known as "performance standards". If a certain amount of noise buffer can produce the same results as the 25 foot distance standard, it could be deemed to meet the standard. It looks like this is what the county is trying to argue,but WHY in the heck wasn't it settled during the permitting process???

Garage Wine: if the "law is the law", then it looks like they need to let Tri-Met operate the Tram if they want to avoid getting "air-right" permission from the Feds in advance...

Title 23: Highways
Subpart D—Real Property Management

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§ 710.405 Air rights on the Interstate.
(a) The FHWA policies relating to management of airspace on the Interstate for non-highway purposes are included in this section. Although this section deals specifically with approval actions on the Interstate, any use of airspace contemplated by a STD must assure that such occupancy, use, or reservation is in the public interest and does not impair the highway or interfere with the free and safe flow of traffic as provided in 23 CFR 1.23.

(1) This subpart applies to Interstate facilities which received title 23 of the United States Code assistance in any way.

(2) This subpart does not apply to the following:

(i) Non-Interstate highways.

(ii) Railroads and public utilities which cross or otherwise occupy Federal-aid highway right-of-way.

(iii) Relocations of railroads or utilities for which reimbursement is claimed under 23 CFR part 140, subparts E and H.

(iv) Bikeways and pedestrian walkways as covered in 23 CFR part 652.

(b) A STD may grant rights for temporary or permanent occupancy or use of Interstate system airspace if the STD has acquired sufficient legal right, title, and interest in the right-of-way of a federally assisted highway to permit the use of certain airspace for non-highway purposes; and where such airspace is not required presently or in the foreseeable future for the safe and proper operation and maintenance of the highway facility. The STD must obtain prior FHWA approval, except for paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) An STD may make lands and rights-of-way available without charge to a publicly owned mass transit authority for public transit purposes whenever the public interest will be served, and where this can be accomplished without impairing automotive safety or future highway improvements

(d) An individual, company, organization, or public agency desiring to use airspace shall submit a written request to the STD. If the STD recommends approval, it shall forward an application together with its recommendation and any necessary supplemental information including the proposed airspace agreement to the FHWA. The submission shall affirmatively provide for adherence to all policy requirements contained in this subpart and conform to the provisions in the FHWA's Airspace Guidelines at: http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/realestate/index.htm.

Nader, You seem certain that DDA is in violation of city ordinance, and DDA's lawyer argues that it's the county ordinance that was supposed to be followed in these circumstances. Even if the city ordinance is applicable, do you really think it was intended for the 25 foot rule to apply in the case of someone who lives above the storefront in a commercial block? If so, then the ordinance would block almost any dog daycare facility because the 25 foot rule applies to any building "capable of being a habitation." Anyone could live above the storefront if they wanted to, couldn't they? It seems more logical that the ordinance was intended to protect a residential area, not a commercial area that happens to have someone living in it. DDA is not some rogue business trying to skirt the law - they acted in good faith, and the city and county have let them down.

Nader, first year law student?

Erik - I think a better term would be "sh*t-house lawyer"...

Commissioner Leonard - do you really think the best way to approach this particular situation is to ensure that Ms. Day is shut down while you get in yet another pissing match - this time with the County? Where's the love for a small business owner who thought she had done everything correctly and who invested a substantial amount of money to open her business and to mitigate a potential noise problem?

Yesterday I posted about the issue that possibly the living quarters next door may not be in compliance to the Commercial Zoning requirements. This would be important to investigate.

Most commercial zoning doesn't allow for "human habitation" which means full time living quarters in the zoning code. There are conditional uses, grandfather clauses that can exceed this base zoning requirements which might allow the dog business neighbor's living quarters. But, if the the living quarters are not allowed then the problem would be solved for the dog business.

Recover costs, then move back in.

If somebody organizes a dog walk in support of the Doggy Day Care, please post it! My little boy dog is a great little yippy yapper on command! He'd do us all proud as we marched around the block in support. Dress shop lady and dog hating residential neighbor (picture the Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz "I'll get you my pretty...and your little dog, too!") would have a really uncomfortable day as nice, happy people with their furry critters passed back and forth.

Thanks for that link, Jack. It shows the use at that address, but I can't see that it shows zoning designation. I am curious because they are several different types of commercial zones and if we know for sure in which zone the property lies, we could see how dog facilities fit into that zone. It takes forever to get zoning info over the phone and I can't seem to find it at the website-although I admit I am not the most adept computer person.

Think of it this way, if you get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt in your car do you think you can get off because lots of other people don't wear seatbelts either and they don't get tickets?

That's a poor analogy, because in the case of doggy day care centers, we know where they all are, and can in a matter of minutes determine which of them may be within 25 feet of a residence. In your example of seat-belts, however, we are only talking about hypothetical "other" drivers who don't wear seatbelts.

The hilarious thing to me is that, as someone else noted, there are only so many businesses that will want to open up in an extensively sound-proofed building, and I don't think ANY of those businesses are the types that a person would want to live next to.

If there is karma in the world, someone will open up a "rent 'em by the hour" music studio center there, and the parking lot will be filled, 24/7, with smoking and skateboarding and cursing teenagers.

I'm missing something. The USE: blick on the Assessor page says Residential, Commercial. However, the zoning is CSd, which is strictly commercial with light industrial permitted. I didn't see anything allowing for residential at all.

The descent of the comments that seem to be universally targeting the neighbor for harassment who contacted my office is disgusting.

She lives in a home in Portland that has an ordinance that says a animal boarding facility cannot be closer than 25 feet to a home. Period.

I cannot even begin to imagine the rhetoric from some of you if you had one of these businesses open up next door to your home whereupon you called my office and I responded with

"Oh, you know, sure, the code says not closer than 25 feet to your home but, yeah, that's what the code says, but come on, it's the county that enforces that, not the city, so, you know, go talk to them...really not my problem"

Katie Bar the Door. The Dufay's would be posting all over the Internet, "see, Randy does hate neighborhoods", Stanley would be looking to put a porno shop next to my home, and "lw" would be picketing the Doggy Day Care business.

Come on folks. Tone it down a notch or two and back off the neighbor who did nothing more than what each of you would have done after waking up one morning next door to a kennel.

The issue that interests me today is what one's expectations should be when one decides to live on property that's zoned commercial storefront.


Fiery rhetoric aside, isn't this a commercially zoned area? What of the notion that the City granted the permit, and now has decided it was wrong? If the dress-shop folks have a variance for living in their shop, does that make it residential, so that if I want to shut down a business, I might simply seek a variance to put them out of compliance? (I hope that notion makes sense... it's a little clunky)

I think the problem here is that a business has invested lots of money to be run out based on a code problem that should have been picked up on the front end. I wouldn't know, based on the POrtland Maps research, that there were any residences around me.

So is there any mitigation here? Or does DDA just get hosed?

If you click on the Storefront Commercial link and read the code, there is a table showing what uses are permitted in each type of commercial zone. Residential use is permitted in the CSd zone (storefront commercial with design overlay). I didn't see dog kennels specifically listed,but there is a provision on nuisance impacts beyond the property line. When I tried to go to the section that deals with specific standards, it didn't seem to be where it should have been. I will look again later. But it looks to me that potential nusiance impacts crossing the property line had to be mitigated and that, from people with firsthand knowledge of the situation have been saying, that is what the parties tried to do. Is zero noise over the property line reasonable in this zone? I would say arguably no....but then there is that 25 foot rule-and how much buffer is equivalent to that? Counsel for DDA said they ran out of money to keep fighting. It's really too bad. Neighbor disputes are always a pain and its too bad mediation isn't required in this situation imho.

I work on the basis that the expectations of anyone who lives in a home legally zoned in Portland, and this one is, is that the city enforce its laws uniformly without regard to the needs of those who are inconvenienced because their dog "Homz" "will be very, very disappointed."

If your read my original comments on this thread and Issac's excellent observation re the zoning code, you will see that your questions are answered.

Randy, I wish you and the dress shop gal the best of luck with the dog crowd. You are going to need it!


As I have commented in response to that same kind of warning by you before, I can only do what I think is the right thing and then let what happens...happen.

That's why you're our favorite politician!

Nice use of tax money - shouldn't Randy Leonard be working and not reading this blog during office hours????

No, taking input from, and responding to, constituents is an important part of the commissioner's job.

Jack, is 80 comments a record for your blog? Speaking as someone who has to put up with a dog breeding business on the other side of the backyard fence, in a neighborhood zoned residential, I have some sympathy with the dress shop owner.

I'm glad I discovered this blog. I emailed Randy directly with my thoughts on this situation twice but didn't get a response. I guess this is the place to come to get his reaction.

I'm glad to hear animal control is on it for an elected official at least. My neighbors had 2 unrestrained, non-neutered pitbulls that would jump their 6 foot fence and attack pedestrians. That was barely better than their continuous baying 24/7. Animal Control did do some stuff but it took them forever and the last complaint took them a month to process because, as the animal control worker explained to my neighbor, she was busy doing work for Lisa Naito's citizen budget committee during work hours. The only reason we are no longer writhing in agony is because the loser neighbors moved back to Tennessee where hopefully they will stay, and rot, forever.

Sadie, you should check out the process for filing a noise complaint. I don't recall it exaclty, but I think you have to tape record the dog(s) barking for 10 minutes straight, or for 30 minutes off-and-on, and then MCAS is required to contact the neighbor. Repeated complaints bring a harsher response.

Randy, I think the thing that people are annoyed with in THIS case is that (a) the owner was never told that the very location of her business was a violation of the code, and all the while the city was happily taking her money, and (b) she made a good-faith effort to reduce the noise, spending thousands of dollars, and her neighbor seems unwilling to be reasonable (assuming things like filing complaints for days on which there were no dogs being boarded are true).

Dave J., thanks for the suggestion about noise complaints. I guess I will have to find a tape recorder. However, considering that it took animal control seven days to pick up a rotting animal carcass from our street I don't have much faith in their willingness to follow up on much.

I wanted to clarify a few things. First, as I mentioned earlier, the 25' rule is not applicable as the City's ordinance is not enforceable per an agreement between the County and the City. Therefore, 1L Nader, DDA is and has been in compliance with all applicable codes and ordinances, and did significant due diligence prior to renting the space.

Professor Bogdanski's comment about one's expectations in a commercial zone is right on track; the cases discussing nuisances uniformly state that reasonableness is assessed by two factors - the impact of the noise on a reasonable person with ordinary sensitivities and the character of the area in question. Unfortunately, the MCAS Hearings Officer actually rolled her eyes when I started discussing caselaw...

It is important to note that the City's sound officer found that the barking of the dogs did not increase the decibel level over the ambient sounds in the neighborhood and that the complainants were hypersensitive to the noise (interestingly, we won a hearing on the neighbor's motion for an injunction due primarily to these factors).

Jack, this is a lot more fun than your tax class (just kidding)!

The fact that there is a specific regulation (Title 13) that prohibits placement of these facilities closer than 25 feet to a residence trumps all other theories with respect to reasonable expectations by residents in that neighborhood, the hypersensitivity of the complainant and so on.

Folks can and will second guess whether this is fair or not. The fact is that the code is clear and there is no reasonable defense anyone or any entity has to not enforce it as adopted.

Sorry. But I left off....

Your comment that there is an agreement between the city and the county that the county will not enforce our code is absolutely untrue. In fact, the opposite is true. We had an agreement that the county would enforce our ordinance that we paid them money to accomplish.

I think the doctrine of preemption might come into play here some place-it has been a long time since I have dealt with it, but it would hold that the CSd ordinance's provisions for dealing with nuisance supercede or pre-empt the 25' rule-based on reasonable expectations jmn?
Issac L's excellent observation may only point to the fact that the zoning ordinance trumphs the 25 foot rule.
It seems that RL sees only the dress shop owner as a sympathetic figure, not the small business owner. I can see both as sympathetic. I notice when RL went to bat for the victims of code enforcement run amok (I situation I was aware of and appeciated his intervention) he didn't take
the law is the law, a violation is a violation approach (if he had poor code violators would have lost their homes), rather he looked at context and went for fairness. What is sickening to me, but doesn't surprise me is how MCAS started fining DDA once RL was on the case. Seeing him as a Knight in Shining Armour, that agency would do anything to keep the focus of such a one off of it; if there ever was a rogue agency, MCAS is one. My sympathies dealing with those hearings officers jmn.

I believe the record for most comments on a single post on this blog is 100.

Randy, Do you know anything about the quasi legislative history of the 25' rule. Why wouldn't performance standards- noise abatement with the same ultimate effect- be acceptable? Are you saying specific always prevails over general no matter how officious the results? Maybe you are right...but that would seem like a reasonable cause for intervention and mediation.

She lives in a home in Portland that has an ordinance that says a animal boarding facility cannot be closer than 25 feet to a home. Period.

Fine. The question then is why didn't the code and zone review that the applicant presumably paid for turn this up? No one's suggesting that Dog Day Afternoon somehow circumvented the permitting process...are they?

Katie Bar the Door. The Dufay's would be posting all over the Internet, "see, Randy does hate neighborhoods"...

C'mon, Commissioner, this isn't personal and it isn't about you. I can't speak for Anne, but I imagine we both support BDS taking over this part of the code if it isn't being enforced. We agree with you completely that the code should be applied fairly and equally.

The issue is why we've gotten to this point...where a business has, presumably in good faith, spent a lot of money to build a business with the City's endorsement...and now we're shutting them down. If we're missing something here, what is it?

back off the neighbor who did nothing more than what each of you would have done after waking up one morning next door to a kennel.

The kennel didn't appear one night out of nowhere. There's a whole process to this, it takes months to get through all the hoops for a business. If it was a "surprise" to the neighbor, then we need a better notification process for neighbors so they can have input before we get to this point.

The other issue though, pretty well aired here, is this is not a kennel that was plopped down in the middle of a residential neighborhood. This is a residence in the middle of a commercial/industrial neighborhood. Next to Dog Day Afternoon is Morlan Plumbing. Across the street is Coho Theater, an antique art store, and a tavern. If a kennel can't locate here then where?

That's why you're our favorite politician!
Posted by Jack Bog at March 29, 2006 04:25 PM

Yeah...but wait'll you see Amanda Fritz in action! :-)

Actually, Randy and Amanda are going to more fun to watch than Ricky and Lucy.

Commissioner Leonard:

It appears that an enhanced level of enforcement has been focussed on Dog Day Afternoon.

This enhanced enforcment is egregious if:

1. They spent $20k to $30k on sound-proofing.
2. They applied for and were granted all necessary permits before opening their doors
3. MCAS had deemed them in compliance prior to your personal intervention.
4. The zoning is "Storefront Commercial" (CS), which reads:

The Storefront Commercial (CS) zone is intended to preserve and enhance older commercial areas that have a storefront character. The zone intends that new development in these areas will be compatible with this desired character. The zone allows a full range of retail, service and business uses with a local and regional market area. Industrial uses are allowed but are limited in size to avoid adverse effects different in kind or amount than commercial uses and to ensure that they do not dominate the character of the commercial area. The desired character includes areas which are predominantly built-up, with buildings close to and oriented towards the sidewalk especially at corners. Development is intended to be pedestrian-oriented and buildings with a storefront character are encouraged.

I tried to email jmn, but am having server trouble. I am wondering if she or her could show us a copy of the city-county agreement?

...the city enforce its laws uniformly without regard to the needs of those who are inconvenienced because their dog "Homz" "will be very, very disappointed."

I was gonna let this slide...but Homz would be disappointed in me if I did.

There's lots of places to take Homz for dog grooming --and his haircuts sure cost a heck of a lot more than mine!-- but the whole point of this area's zoning is to provide services for the local community. It's nice for Anne to walk across the street from her workplace, to a nice, local start-up. And they did great work.

Maybe we can get PDC to divert a tiny share of their largess to the usual suspects to give this business a decent chance in life. Somewhere. That would seem fair.

I'm bent about the whole notion that the business was allowed to spend all that money only to be shut down without an attempt to mediate or without restitution for SOME bureaucrat's mistake.

Randy, did you ever find out who allowed this in the first place?

The only bureacratic mistake was Commissioner Leonard's. Maybe he ought to suggest that owners of DDA move out to Bridgeport Village?

The next time you can't get Portland's finest to respond to your noise complaint (barking dog, naked protesters, or car's with multiple sub-woofers booming through the neighborhood), just call Commissioner Leonard for highly personalized service. He just wants to make sure everybody gets a good night's sleep.

The "progressive" politicians in this town make my stomach churn.

I think the former DDA facility would make a great location for an alcohol free (read 18-21 year old) nude dancing club. Good sound insulation, close to the trolley, and a nice shop next door for the dancers to spend their hard earned cash on day-wear.

A further thought -- the animal facility ordinance allows the director to grant variances from the 25-foot requirement if (and I'm paraphrasing very loosely) the applicant can satisfy the goals of the requirement some other way.

In this case, the operator of the dog day care could request a variance from the 25-foot requirement, which is intended to protect nearby dwellings from noise and smell, and justify the variance by demonstrating that the soundproofing in the building keeps escaping noise from the facility at a level comparable to other local businesses. Where there's a way to remedy a use violation, a local government can enter into a compliance agreement with a property owner or business operator and put enforcement on hold while the owner/operator applies for the necessary permits. That would have been a reasonable solution here.

Ok so this is 101?

Issac shines again.

I know that facts are sometimes troublesome for some blog posters but here are just a few facts about this case.

1. The kennel did indeed "just show up" on labor day weekend with 30+ dogs and no insulation.

2. At this time they had yet to obtain their city building permit. This was not done until later in the month.

3. For the entire seven months of operation, they never had a valid county animal services facility permit for that location. The county continued to allow them to operate while the case was in progress.

4. The business chose to shut down because they could not or would not comply with the county barking dog ordinance, the city 25ft rule was not part of this enforcement. The exemption to the barking ordinance did not apply because they did not have a facility permit. Infraction hearings upheld this position.

5. George Morlan et al are in different zoning than DDA and the residence. The residence has been there since 1880 and the other businesses in the CS cluster include an accupuncture clinic, an art gallery, a holistic medicine clinic, a health store and a yoga studio. Other light industrial businesses are on the other end of the block in entirely different zoning. An interesting coincidence is that the owner of DDA herself lives in CS zoning on 23rd ave directly above a business that by her logic could contain a dog kennel.

I cannot even estimate how many times since I have arrived on the council that various city entities "chose" not to enforce city laws.

Whether it was the business income tax, housing code violations, building regulations, you name it, there was no consistency and thus no fairness.

I only ask that each of our regulatory codes be enforced fairly, equally and consistently. Otherwise you are left with the nuanced interpretations that create incredibly unfair outcomes in the long run.

Each request for help that comes through our office is handled professionally, fairly and consistently.

I am sympathetic with Dog Day Afternoons circumstances. However, for some reason they and others commenting on this thread are working under the presumption that the home next door to Dog Day Afternoon is not really a home.

Sorry, but I do not buy that. It is a legal residence. Thus, any benefit and rights any other homeowner has in Portland are deserving of the homeowner next to DDA.

In the final analysis, it is my judgement that the city code says what it does. The county should have enforced every provision of Title 13 and they did not. That was a mistake and I am working on systemic changes so that this does not happen again.

If the owners of DDA called and asked me to help them in relocating, they would receive the same level of help and creativity that we give to anyone who calls our office for assistance.

Section 5 of the 1978 Agreement between the County and the City states "County agrees to enforce all provisions of Title 13 of the Code of the City of Portland, Oregon now in force and hereinafter enacted (enforcement of ordinances enacted after August 17, 1978 is subject to aggreement of County)..." As I mentioned earlier, the County did not agree with the City's changes to Title 13 of the City Code, so it does not enforce them.

I am not coming up with this legal argument on my own; rather, it is the position of the County
Attorney. As frustrating as this experience has been for my client, I do commend the MCAS attorney for providing me with this agreement and helping me understand the interplay between the two sets of conflicting ordinances.

"the 25' rule is not applicable as the City's ordinance is not enforceable per an agreement between the County and the City."

That is a quote from you, JMN, from your earlier comment.

That the county chose not to enforce the city ordinance does not mean our ordinance is "not enforceable". It only means the county would not enforce it, a point I made in my original comment on this thread.

Thus, I was prepared to have our ordinance enforced by city personnel.

Randy, how about trying to apply the variance provision of the animal facility ordinance as Issac suggests? That would be enforcing the law and being fair at the same time. I don't see anyone trying to argue a residence is not a residence. It's just that the expectations might be different in a storefront commercial zone.


That's an interesting interpretation. One reading of the Agreement is that the County has exclusive jurisdiction over enforcement of all animal control ordinances. It will be interesting to see where this jurisdictional tug-of-war leads.

In any event, I'll advise DDA to make sure her new facility is at least 25' away from all residences, just to be safe.

CP, for the record, DDA always had a facility license. A Hearings Officer found that the exemption in the dog barking ordinances did not apply because DDA did not have a building permit from the City at the time of the offense. The exemption would still apply regardless if a facility had a MCAS permit because the MCAS permit, per its terms, is not any type of zoning regulation.

After reading the entire ordinance, I surmise that the reason the City can't enforce the ordinance (aside from its agreement with the county) is that the ordinance itself says that it's to be enforced by Multnomah County's Director of animal control, or his or her designee. (I suppose if the county doesn't want to enforce the ordinance itself, it could designate an appropriate City official to enforce it, and throw the task back to the Portland Bulding.) The City apparently repealed the provisions that allowed the City to assess fines and order violators to clean up their acts.

I recall attending some county zoning hearings, many years ago, in which rural property owners were applying for permission to have dog kennels on their acreage. Funny thing: the applicants uniformly proposed to site their kennels on their lots as far as possible from their own houses, near a property line, and quite often close to their neighbors' houses. It's possible that the 25-foot rule in the City ordinance was drafted with kennels on lots in mind, not dog-care facilities inside urban buildings.

If the owners of DDA called and asked me to help them in relocating, they would receive the same level of help and creativity that we give to anyone who calls our office for assistance.

Like your creative "get out of Dodge before sundown" suggestion to the Schumachers?

Well, I did offer to help the Schumachers including proposing a meeting to help them find a resolution to their issues. They declined my invitation.

After long discussion with the Schumachers and the police I have come to the conclusion that their consistent taunting of the protesters is actually part of some larger strategy on their part...that is frankly lost on me.

Randy, since you're the one who's intent on shutting a business that operating in good faith, has paid a fortune to maintain this business, why don't you call them - why should they have to call you - you are a public servant, aren't you? What an attitude you've displayed.

I am so sorry I arrived so late for this conversation.

I am a dog lover too. This conversation though strikes me as a bit unfair. I know one of the commenters.

Stewart is actually Stewart Weitz. He is a prominent board member of a dog club (Bernese Mountain Dog Club of Oregon) and a strong activist for dogs.

Stewart, before you start feigning indignation, maybe you should let your allegiances be known.

Please, Stewart, do not embarrass your fellow club members with your caustic language.

We appreciate you but you have been known to be a little over the top now and then.

Randy, as I noted in a comment on the Schumacher thread (I think), I have seen the strategy of taunting critics coming from the National Animal Interest Alliance, an animal use group on whose board one of the Schumacher family (Mark) sits. Patti Strand, NAIA president, and her husband have written a book on "animal rights extremists" are Hijacking the Humane Movement. Given their entrenchment with county animal control, it is interesting that they seem to see no irony in that title. Strand is an interesting study. And the group has a stategy for "educating news media and other writers" read:propagandize. I think entrenched research scientists who don't want to defend their work or face challenges bankroll the thing. But the strands face criticism even from the research community.

Seven stories.

Seven stories high, as a new height allowance, ought to "add" enough value to smooth over the wounds and cover the transactions costs so that all the parties can move on. Include enough land for an aggregator to be tickled pink. Divine some public purpose and offer favorable lending too to get the ball rolling . . .

Perhaps DDA needs the PR skill to present the smiling happy faces of kids that grace all good PR schemes. Pictures of a Puppy Palace and happy kids playing together ought to do it. That and public praise of the good folks at the city for their wonderful constituent service.

The public purpose could be a "health matter" to allow DDA to have the use of part of the bottom floor.
(Forbes) Loneliness Boosts Blood Pressure in Older Adults
(University of Iowa) "Older persons who own a pet usually have better physical health."

Interesting, Cynthia. That helps me fill in a lot of the blanks.

If that is what they are doing, it's not working.

jmn of all people knows that DDA has not had a valid MCAS permit for their entire seven months of operation. They never even applied for one for the Raleigh St location until well into their second month of operation. When the county finally decided in March to issue a permit with conditions, DDA chose not to comply with those conditions. Instead, their strategy has been to fan the flames of controversy with a one sided assault in the court of public opinion. As DDA's attorney in the ongoing lawsuit, jmn's comments are at best, self serving legal semantics.

I am sympathetic with Dog Day Afternoons circumstances. However, for some reason they and others commenting on this thread are working under the presumption that the home next door to Dog Day Afternoon is not really a home.

With all due respect, Commissioner, I haven't heard anyone make that argument. It is most certainly a home. But it is a home that is zoned commercial storefront, on a street with a theater across from them, and a plumbing store and lithographer on that block. I think its great that folks choose to live in mixed neighborhoods like this; but it also reminds me of folks who move out to the edges of the urban growth boundary...then complain there's the smell of chicken manure in the air. Well, if you move next to a working farm, manure happens!

No pointing fingers...but what do we do here? Did we review the zoning and code before approving the building permit? Did we approve the plumbing permit for the dog bath...and are now shocked, shocked, that dogs have appeared? Was this residential neighbor informed before permits were issued that this was happening before investments were made?

I'm not claiming to have any pat answers for any of this. But there seems a disconnect between first allowing a business to build a facility, and then telling them after the fact they're not allowed to have done so.

RANDY LEONARD: Keeping NW Portland safe from Doggie Day Care.

It warms my heart: Bush is hell bent on killing terrorists and Randy is waging war on small businesses.

Oh well, at least he gets his PFD retirement benefits after they vote him out of his City Hall office. I'll bet the owners of DDA and Shumachers Fur don't have any pensions to fall back on.

Barb, why don't you be upfront about who you are? I couldn't recall who you could be, so I clicked on your link. You're a dog breeder from Stratford, New York. As far as I know, we've never met (the only Berner events I've ever attended have been in Oregon and Washington) and you're not a member of the Bernese Mountain Dog of Oregon. What's your relation to this? Yes, I'm on the board of our local club, but I'm not that active at all, as I'm sure my fellow board members could attest to, so I'm not sure what I've done to be "over the top." I guess if being a board member makes me an "activist," then I'm an activist.

Since you're questioning my background, let me tell you exactly what my connection to DDA is. In early March, a fellow club member raived to me about DDA and about how nice the staff were. So I became a customer there about three weeks ago. We were very happy with DDA and looked forward to taking our two dogs there. A week ago Jennifer Day broke the news to us that she was closing and she explained why.

Everything about how Jennifer has been treated by the city, county and Randy Leonard has seemed unfair to me. Sorry, Barb, if I've come across as caustic - if I've been "over the top" on this, it's only because I think an injustice has been done. I actually think that Commissioner Leonard has come across as caustic through all this - and full disclosure, I voted for him in the last election.

Stuart Weitz

Graffiti artists vandalizing your neighborhood? Meh.
Drunken transients passed out in your front yard? Yawn.
Doggy day care too close to a residence? OMG CODE RED! CODE RED!


If you want to stick to your guns, stick to them. But please stop telling everyone who disagrees with you that they would do the same thing this "neighbor" did. The odds that I would insist on the extinguishing of this business, had it been me in the same situation, are ZERO. Speak for yourself. Handling it this way is your choice and your move, and you're entitled to do it, because you have the election certificate. But don't deny other people the opportunity to feel differently by lecturing them that they, too, would force a business to leave in this situation. You have no idea what other people would do; it's presumptuous to suggest otherwise.

I seem to recall that often ordinances allow kennels in most zones only by conditional use permit, so that public hearings are held and there are no surprises.

Randy, I want to ask a fair question. No harm met.

How would the city (or you) treat the situation where a dog care co. obtains all proper permits for a business in a CS zone before a valid residential use that is supposedly allowed in the CS zone becomes a neighbor within 25 ft. of an established dog business? Is it a "I'm there first" situation and the residence(s) would have to accept the conditions or not build or remodel to create the housing?

I refer you to the two comments above by "cp". "lw's" observations are the only factual characterization of what actually has occurred since DDA began occupying the building on Raleigh.

They were given a conditional use and DDA's attorney, who is commenting in this thread as "jmn", knows it.

In fact, DDA was not ordered to close, they chose to do so. I have copied an email from the county below;

-----Original Message-----
From: OSWALD Michael L [mailto:michael.l.oswald@co.multnomah.or.us]
Sent: Wednesday, March 22, 2006 9:34 AM
To: LINN Diane M; ROJO DE STEFFEY Maria; NAITO Lisa H; Leonard, Randy
Cc: SMITH Andy J; LIEUALLEN Matt; Johnson, Aaron H.; FERNANDES April; JOHNSON Cecilia; WEST Kristen; LASHUA Matthew; GORDON Kathy; Johnson, Aaron H.; MORF Jenny M; SOWLE Agnes
Subject: Resolution of Doggy Day Care Facility Case

Resolution of Doggy Day Care Facility Case

As you may be aware, Animal Services (MCAS) has been engaged in several ongoing enforcement actions related to barking at a doggy day care "Dog Day Afternoon" owned by Ms. Jennifer Day at 2258 NW Raleigh in Portland.

On March 16, 2006, MCAS issued a conditional facilities license to Dog Day Afternoon. (Copy Attached). The conditional license required Ms. Day to implement structural improvements to her property that were expected to significantly reduce the noise heard in the neighborhood. Ms. Day was given until April 26, 2006, to complete the recommended changes. In the interim period, Ms. Day was permitted to continue operations between the hours of 7am and 7pm, but was prohibited from boarding animals overnight.

On March 20, 2006, Ms. Day's attorney and Jenny Morf, County Attorney's office, began exploring alternatives to resolve several outstanding legal issues and discuss possible exceptions to the conditional facilities license. At the conclusion of the discussions, the County made an exception to the conditional facilities license by permitting Ms. Day to continue overnight boarding of three dogs that she is currently housing through March 28, 2006.

Ms. Day informed the County that she will be ceasing operations at the NW Raleigh location on April 1, 2006. Because Ms. Day is ceasing operations, and agreed to dismiss two state law suits currently filed against the County, MCAS agreed to dismiss several outstanding enforcement actions that were set to go to hearing on Wednesday, March 22, 2006.

Although this situation has been resolved, the enforcement challenges surrounding barking dogs and facilities licensing and operations in mixed-use areas remain. The County and the City will continue to work together to identify changes to the County and City codes that will address these issues.

Special thanks to Jenny Morf for her assistance in reaching a resolution in this case.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Jenny Morf.

Thank you, Mike Oswald

shoot...I meant

"cp's observations are the only factual characterization of what actually has occurred since DDA began occupying the building on Raleigh.

Randy is correct. They chose to close because they were spent - emotionally and financially. Can someone say whether, despite the closing, the Linders are maintaining litigation against DDA?

Hey Stew. If ya love em so much have them move next door to you!

Now I'm confused. Is the law being enforced because-it-is-the-law-and-we-have-to-enforce-it, noise? Or the distance between the buildings?

If it is a noise law, and thus soundproofing the correct remedy, is there a decible level codified to prove that a complaint is justified, or not?

If the DDA folks had had the resources to do the additional sound-proofing (I presume that was the condition? I don't see the attachment included in the post) would the city have supported waiving the 25' requirement? Would the next-door neighbor have been satisfied?

Would that have been the end of it?

If so it seems more than ever sad that things ended as they did. And a missed opportunity for the city to make good on its mistakes in this process. If not, this is just another strawman.

I did think of a great solution, though. Didn't I hear something about Homer Williams and Dike Dame being in the business of underwriting start-ups? ;-)

$15-$20,000 to help DDA do the additional sound-proofing and you've got a stake in a well-loved neighborhood business with committed and passionate customers. Win/win? Or, how about a city loan at 2% and a 20 year pay-off?

Hey, Peace N Quiet, I don't live in an industrial zone. BTW, are you really the Peace N Quiet travel agency in the UK? That's what I get when I click on your link. My guess is that Barbara really isn't the dog breeder from NY, just someone who's using her URL. Is it really proper for posters to this blog to use other people's URLs??

Randy, my "fair question" above was not related to the DDA issue, but was a question as stated where there is a hypothetical situation where the dog business happens before a certified "housing" situation. Can you answer that, or did I miss something in your blog, which by the way was very informative?

Wow! Innocent bystanders shot in Northeast Portland, drug dealers lined up almost shoulder to shoulder on the bus mall, schools being closed, not enough affordable housing...and the closing of a dog day care generates 131 responses! I'm not quite sure what that all means.

In the hypothetical as you state it, the prospective home owner could not locate their home closer than 25 feet to the animal care facility.

You are reading my mind, Sadie.

The Linders do not live in an industrial zone either, they live in a commercial storefront zone, as does, Jennifer Day, the owner of DDA, on 23rd Ave, according to the post of "cp."

Sadie, This city always pours its heart out when it feels that an individual has been abused by the system - that's one of the things that makes Portland special. We all wish the powers that be would focus on the problems you listed rather than pushing businesses out of town. To the contrary, I wish the powers that be would focus more on how to attract businesses to this city to help alleviate our perpetual revenue shortfalls.

Sadie and Randy:

I talk about, and try to work on, those things, too. But be aware that Brandeis,Blake, Ghandi and others have spoken of the relationship between how a society handles small matters (individuals and animals) and how it handles larger questions. The tsk tsk attitude gets us to the far side of nowhere. Fast.


Thank you for the Oswald post. I don't think jmn said anything that was misleading, not intentionlly so anyway. She has her angle and cp has hers (assuming these are women for the sake of simplicity). And we all have our bents. Something that stands out is that there was a factual dispute as to how much barking actually has been going on. A friend of Jennifer Day's illuminated this best, imho. She (or he) said complaints were made when there were no dogs at the facility. Getting uppity with animal lovers probably isn't wise in Portland. Mark Twain, Albert Schweitzer, they loved animals and weren't shy about it. It didn't limit their careers or their intellects. It is nothing to be ashamed of.

I agree with you that no one should have to endure incessant barking. But assuming a complainant to be apriori correct in her assessment of the facts can be problematic. I have represented pet owners and kennels, but one of the best examples comes from a personal experience with a friend: In the early 90s my late friends Steve and Sally Verron were cited for letting their dog run off leash in Mt. Scott Park. The complainant, Minne Pomerinko (also deceased, God rest all of their souls) logged instances of the dog's being off leash with his owners. One of the times she noted Clyde was with Sally, Sally and I were together attending a lecture at Reed. So I testified as an alibi witness when the matter went to trial. The judge fined Steve and Sally 2 cents and Phil Stanford(then at the O) wrote a column about it. MCAS(then MCAC) became irate. Steve and Sally had felt so harassed by that agency and the complainant who had nothing better to do than make up incidents of violations that Sally, a pacifist who supported gun control, told me in their weaker moments had considered buying a gun in case they needed to defend themselves. From what I can tell, the agency retains its authoritarian character.

Please don't believe everything Oswald might tell you about the character of the lawyers who represent pet owners. The agency is demonstrably enmeshed with NAIA (the animal use group I mentioned above) and smear campaigns are part of how they operate.

Randy, is it true you have this picture on your office desk?

And have you stopped beating your mink?

"Randy, is it true you have this picture on your office desk?"

I do now.

"And have you stopped beating your mink?"

Thats between me and my mink.

I just received a personal email from Randy Leonard with a public statement about this situation. I appreciate his sending it to me and am sure he'll post it here soon (I would post it for him, but am not able to copy it).

I'm sorry he continues to say that there was incessant barking 24 hours a day making life "Hell" for the next door dress shop - that's just not credible. While I don't doubt there's plenty of barking, after a day at daycare, dogs are very tired and sleep very well. The complainants and RL undermine their own credibility by saying such things.

It sounds like there may well be a better location for DDA. I just hope RL doesn't try to make people look stupid for caring about the business owner-and/or for liking dogs. The honest and fair dealing aspect concerns me most and the comment that only one commenter had the facts right. I have been involved in enough of these kinds of things to doubt it's that pat. The mere fact that someone referred this to Jack Bog indicates more imho. As for the bigger issues in the news: Wanna clean up Portland? Good first step two words: Oust Schrunk.

Stuart writes This city always pours its heart out when it feels that an individual has been abused by the system - that's one of the things that makes Portland special.

Exactly. And what's fascinating to me about this exercise in blog discussion: it stayed pretty much focused on the issues; didn't get hijacked into a discussion of urban renewal or the tram; didn't get ugly (in my opinion); and Commisioner Leonard, to his credit, hung in there, though I'll have to say he didn't answer why the City, on the one hand green-lighted this, and, on the other, seems to have put the Dog Day Afternoon owner in a Kafkaesque no-win situation.

It's sad to me to see this facility go away. It was well liked, and it seems this process didn't go well for any of those involved.

I think, however, we'd be remiss in not thanking Jack for putting this issue out there --that might otherwise not seen the light of day-- and let citizens engage in a discussion that is democracy working at its finest. Ultimately this isn't about Dog Day Afternoon --sorry Homz-- its about how government relates to us as citizens and how it sees its role.

Commissioner Leonard you have, if nothing else out of this, a mandate to get to the root of the systemic problem and get it fixed.

Wow. 143 comments. And, as Frank noted, unusually (for blogsters :-) focused and on track. I feel really good to have been involved, even in such a small way.

I do want to clear up a few small miss-apprehensions, however. First, I write on this blog as a citizen, representing only myself, and perhaps my dog. On this thread it was even narrower -- I wrote as a happy customer of DDA, nothing more, nothing less. (My hubby can speak for himself :-))

2. I was not the "instigator" of this blog thread. (Jack, can you help me here, verify that I was not the person who sent you the original blog posting?) In fact, I came relatively late to the issue, after it had made the tv news, after it had hit this blog. Despite that I was made aware today that some folks, not participants on this blog, have gotten the notion that I have more "power" and "influence" in this whole phenomenon than my few posts warrant :-)

At this moment I'm feeling a little uncomfortable at having been singled out in this way. I continue to feel proud about posting under my own name, and standing behind my words. I'm happy to talk to anyone who has any issues or concerns about what I write. I would, however, appreciate it if folks would contact me at my personal email address, which is available to anyone posting on this thread, and would REALLY appreciate it if folks would stop directing people to my work address. This is not a work-related issue. And, please, don't imply more to my name, than it warrants.

thanks so much! This has been, as my hubby said, an exercise in democracy in action.

The e-mail message that appears in this post did not come from either Dufay.

Anne, I'm the one who wrote in to Jack asking him to look into this - the instigator. As I explained earlier, I too am a customer of DDA, just felt badly about what had happened and thought Jennifer had gotten the short end of the stick. That's it - I'm not a friend of Jennifer's have been a customer of DDA only for a short time. This is the first time I've ever written on a blog. I was surprised that someone wrote in under the name Barb and essentially smeared me. I received an email this evening from the person whose URL was used by "Barb," (the dog breeder in NY) and she couldn't believe that she was brought into this and that someone wrote in under her name.

Jack, what is your view of people hiding behind other people's URLs - Barb and Peace N Quiet did it in this case.

I have a hard enough time removing spam, obscenity, potentially libelous material, and "reviews" of me and my blog. Fake URLs? Let the reader beware.

I do think discussions like this can be good. In fact, I have been involved in a number of them on this very site.

But what some may think is a healthy discussion, others feel is a string of comments bordering on advocating harassment of the complainant. Some who should know better suggested the complainant should not really expect the same protections as, presumably, they do.

I said a few comments up that only one commenter had the facts right. I said that because...only one commenter had the facts right.

Throughout this discussion, people have presumed Stuart's original email to Jack was factually correct. I am sorry, but what Stuart said was factually incorrect.

The facility did not have all the proper permits, as it has told others it did, and the facility was not ordered to close. A hearings officer for Multnomah County (see email I attached above) did grant a variance. The owners chose to close the facility.

The mistake made, as I said earlier in this thread, is that the county did not enforce the city's unambiguous ordinance in the first place. However, the business opened before it ever approached the county for the proper permits. So even if the county enforced that provision, it would have enforced it after the business opened on Raleigh, because DDA had not contacted the appropriate permitting agencies before it opened its doors.

I write these remarks for no reason other than my desire to make this forum informative and responsible. As I’ve said, it may be difficult for some of you to empathize with the complainant in this matter, but consider this: Not only did she have to put up with the all-night barking in the first place (sorry Stuart, but we have documented that this was occurring) and subsequently, with the many comments questioning whether or not she really had the right to complain, but on top of all that, she gets to read mean-spirited comments about the all-night rave parties or porn shops that might take over the DDA building, as if she deserves to be punished for her actions.

I am used to being criticized, insulted and even threatened. However, I can assure you that the homeowner on NW Raleigh is not.

Today my office scheduled an appointment with the owner of Dog Day Afternoon. As I do with anyone who seeks assistance, I will do everything within my power to assist her. If that includes a request to help her relocate her business, I will do whatever I can to help her locate her business in a place in the most affordable and efficient way possible. I will seek out whatever financial assistance that may be available to help her in that effort.

One last comment. I am sorry Stuart that your original email to my office wasn't answered immediately. We do answer all emails but I get literally hundreds of emails in my office a day...not counting the number I get on my personal -but very public- email account.

Randy, although I should let sleeping dogs lie, I can't in this case, as your version of the facts is not correct.

As you may be aware, DDA operated at another location prior to moving to the NW Raleigh location. Like any diligent business owner, she called MCAS to find out what she needed to do when moving ger busines to the new location. She was told that her existing facility permit would transfer to the new location; she would merely need to request that MCAS inspect her facility once she was moved in (she was also told that she could house dogs in the facility prior to this inspection). She promptly called MCAS after the move, who sent Officer Crabb out to inspect. Officer Crabb said that everything looked in order and told her to call back for a final inspection once she finished her build out, which she did.

This, it is simply not true that she did not have the proper permits in place prior to commencing operations at the Raleigh Street location. If this is what MCAS is telling you, it is not the truth. You are correct, however, that DDA chose to voluntarily shut its doors because the conditions on operation imposed by MCAS made operating at the new location uneconomic, as I explained in a prior post. I'm sure the owner of DDA will be happy to recount the facts to you when you meet with her.

The information my office was given from the county was in fact that your client had not gotten a permit or a verbal OK from anyone at the county as your comment suggests.

However, I am less concerned about them having not obtained the proper permits for the Raleigh facility than I am making sure that, assuming your client wants to relocate, this nor anything like it happens again.

My office will happily facilitate the necessary permitting at the county and the city so that your client will get her necessary permits in place in an efficient, affordable and predictable way.

My office will do all of the necessary work your client needs thereby relieving her of the need to spend money for an attorney. :)

Hey, that's cruelty to animals (sharks)!

No offense taken - most of my work for DDA has been pro bono (much to the chagrin of my partners...)

Randy: are you legitimately interested in helping out the business owner that you unilaterally shot down, or is this just spin control?

Randy, it would be interesting to know how the overnight barking was documented - did an MCAS officer go out in the middle of the night or is it just the word of the complainant? If so, then it's her word against Jennifer's, who told me that the complainants filed complaints on nights when there were no dogs at the facilities. Like I said earlier, I don't doubt there was plenty of barking at this or any other dog day care - but your comment about "Hell" seemed like hyperbole to me.

You're correct, though, that no one should threaten the complainant - that' not right.

Finally, I wish the real "Barb" who smeared me would come forward. I heard from the dog breeder in NY whose URL was used, and she was outraged that someone would use her name to smear me. As I thought, she and I have never known each other until now.

Another success story for the City of Portland: Not only did they run this business out of Portland which they are so adept at doing, they actually shut it down!! And they cost this poor woman likely financial ruin. Woo hoo! That's a three pointer! Good work!

It looks like the city didn't really want their Sopranos style extortion fee, I mean business license fee, of 4% from this small business after all.

Crazy transients may grab my kid and try to throw her under the Max train, I may get threatened by a group of teen thugs in Smart Park when I don't give in to their panhandling, and I might have to step over a passed out druggie in Pioneer Square, but I feel sooooo much better that there will be no barking dogs at this small business. Thank you Portland! You're the best!

The inmates ARE running the asylum.

First off this is the "real" Barbara who is more than outraged that her name and reputation has been defamed by an individual posing as me to smear another individual. The good news is that this sick individual can be identified. I have webtracking hits and it showed Visit Start Time 3/30/2006 1:27:16 AM Location Portland, OR, United States Organization U S WEST Internet Services Visitor ID 7FD6E3 searched google Search Term burmese dog owners of oregon and was directed by google to my website. My webtracker also gave the Domain name and their exact I.P. Address.

Before I move forward with "action" against this individual, you are given an opportunity for an apology to Stuart and myself. I do not know Stuart and have never met or heard of him prior to my name and character wrongly being used to smear him.

I have spent over 25 years establishing a prominent national and international reputation as a breeder of Bernese Mt Dogs and not, I repeat, I am not going to let one person bring it down by such intentional defamation of character. "You" picked the "wrong" person to use!

I have read through this blog topic and am totally dumfounded how people are treat in your area of the country. Here in the Adirondacks we have maintained respect and old time values of honesty in dealing with each other.

This post was originally written Wednesday evening. I am submitting it now, not so much to address the situation at hand, but to defend two people who have been unfairly treated, by some, in this column. It reads as follows:

While the fair-mindedness of some the comments posted is appreciated, the obviously callous and prejudicial comments made by other writers are dismaying. The discussion of law and ordinances by the quasi/experts is obviously important, however, the human side of this very difficult situation should not be diminished. Thus far in the discussion any compassion or sympathy (aside from Randy Leonard's comments) seem to be reserved for the owner of DDA.

I have had the privilege of knowing the homeowners for over five years. They are two of the most honest and fair-minded people I have ever met. They are active in the community and have called NW Portland home for many years. By nature they are quiet and avoid the limelight. For the homeowners to file legal complaints regarding a circumstance involving a neighbor only points to how very unbearable the situation must be.

All those who flippantly suggest that only the owner of DDA has endured great distress may wish to rethink their position. Until you have experienced living next door to up to 40 dogs at any given time, you might do well to withhold judgment as to how you would respond. Many of us know of people being driven to distraction because of a neighbor dog’s incessant barking, and many times only one, or at the most two dogs were involved. It is very, very difficult to imagine 10, 20, 30 dogs or more barking all at once, consistently or intermittently, at all times of the day and night in such close proximity to one’s property (regardless of the insulating efforts).

I do not know DDA’s owner, and therefore cannot make comment regarding her character, or intentions. It is very unusual to find a story with only one side, and hopefully readers will remember this.

I am happy vp chimed in. Living next to barking dogs would drive me nuts. But I don't think having them 25 feet-as opposed to 15 feet- away would make things any better. I am thinking about going over to see what I think about the ambient noise level on NW Raleigh.



If the county hearings officer granted a variance to the 25 foot rule, I don't think that is the same thing as the county refusing to enforce the ordinance; rather, perhaps it was going for the flexibility in urban settings that the ordinance mentions in order to achieve substantially the same-or better-results.

While I appreciate that you are trying to make yourself available to the citizens (all of us), I don't envy you being in the middle of a neighborhood dispute like this more than I envy Family Court judges. One side sounds right and righteous-until you hear the other side. It sounds to me that everyone has a right to complain here and that there are no easy answers.

If you want to see MCAS clean up its act, you could encourage Diane Linn to hire Nathan Winograd to perform an audit to determine whether it is complying with the 2000 blue ribbon task force recommendations. He is the only expert in the consulting business I know of that understands both what the "new direction" proposed is all about and the games animal shelters play.
I hear reports that Ted Wheeler is positioning himself as the "real animal lover" running for County Chair. But that is what Lisa Naito and many others have said as a diversionary tactic. I don't listen to that rhetoric and hope others will stop being so gullible. Change in this area means specific, verifiable changes in law, policy and practice-that, so far, aren't happening.

"I don't envy you being in the middle of a neighborhood dispute like this more than I envy Family Court judges. One side sounds right and righteous-until you hear the other side."

Thanks for the kind thought, Cynthia. I really do appreciate it.

But I really don't have any defense...as I tell people all the time, I didn't just ask for this job...I begged for it.

I appreciate the heart that "vp" brought to the discussion. I'm so sad that this whole miserable thing ended up so poorly.

Just for clarity's sake, though:

The absolute worst thing that has been done on this thread was when some creepy person went snooping into Stuart's personal history, (which they could do easily, because he made no effort to hide who he was -- like me) found (among god know's what other stuff they gathered-in) his club memberships, (no, not anything evil, just a dog club) then looked out over the internet and found another affiliate, and then spoofed their post to make it sound like it came from that other dog group.

Talk about identity theft...

I understand why Barbara is so outraged. It is so creepy, and so exploitive and so so so ,,,, oh god. How horrible would I feel if someone did that to me? And -- now for the really creepy stuff -- what if someone is trying to do that to me, right now?

There is someone on this blog who is doing that.

Someone has no boundaries.

I don't know who you are, but you are doing NO favors to the residents complaining about DDA. I don't really know the folks who are complaining. But the few short interactions I have had with them would lead me to believe that they don't condone, and would be horrified to know, that these "dirty tricks" are being done in their behalf.

So. Stop it. Now.

Ok, so now that we've dealt with the worse thing, let's talk about the lesser things.

VP -- Are you really willing to go on record as alleging that 40, or 39, or oh 38 dogs were at DDA all night long and barking?

Tell me, 40, 39 or 39?

I've personally (I've been in there, I'm guessing you never have) and never seen more 6 to 8 dogs in the daycare facility.

Tell me, again, what is it that you allege? And, do you really stand by that?

I am so tired of the hyperbole. I have been accused of "threatening" the complainers. Because I gave voice to the normal human reaction "hum, wonder what will go in there next?"

Good grief. If anything good can be possibly salvaged from this mess -- it will need someone leading who can leave those mean pictures, behind.

So, Anne, calls for "urban warfare" (poster, lw) against the complainant on this thread don't strike you as "creepy" but someone using a fake name and web site does? That fake poster is, in your opinion, the "worst" of the comments on this thread?

I am sorry, Anne, but that is just a little much for me to read and not respond to.

You did not say "hum, wonder what will go in there next?". Rather, you said "A late night lounge seems likely to me". I found that comment combined with your comment "... that the noise of the barking dogs was in compliance with city noise allowances. Just, not enough to satisfy the neighbors" to be more wishing "a late night lounge" would move in next door to the complainant than speculation.

There are some of us that participate in these threads that need to set a higher standard in our published comments. I am certainly one of them.

I believe you are as well.

So, Anne, calls for "urban warfare" (poster, lw) against the complainant on this thread don't strike you as "creepy" but someone using a fake name and web site does? That fake poster is, in your opinion, the "worst" of the comments on this thread?

My wife, Commissioner, did not call for "urban warfare" against the clothing store. In fact, she's been a customer of theirs. It's a nice store.

The point made by whoever made the "urban warfare" comment was that there's enough verbiage in the City Code that you can always find something to use "the law" against someone if you're out to shut them down, i.e. the 25 foot rule...as though from 26 feet away you wouldn't hear dogs barking.

And, yes, someone searching into Stuart's background to come up with a suitable phony id to then smear him...that's majorly creepy. One of the weaknesses in blogs, and emails, is this fascination for using phony nom-de-guerres when people post their opinions and comments. In a perfect world, in my opinion, we'd all stand behind our comments, as my wife Anne and I do. I understand some folks' desire to post anonymously...but identify theft is identity theft.

If you think my wife wants to see something awful go in where Dog Day Afternoon was, you're greviously mistaken. This is where she works, walks our dog, walks to lunch. It's her neighborhood too.

There is really no need for me to go on record. The owner of DDA, herself, has stated that she is willing to accept 40 dogs during the day, and 30 dogs overnight. During her first weekend of operation, Labor Day Weekend 05', she boarded between 20-30 dogs.

Randy -- for the record, I do not want something bad to go in across the street from where I work. Don't be silly. With my Grandma's voice in my ear -- "Be careful what you wish for dear, you just might get it" it never occured to me that anyone would take that as a threat. My Grandma never meant it as a threat, quite the opposite.

I can only say that what you surmise my motives to have been is entirely a product of your own "inner ear." Not mine.

I am also very surprised that you don't back me up on the gravity of the illegal highjacking of an innocent person's identity for creepy, even illegal, purposes. You've often expressed derision for the cowardice of people who post blog comments annomously. I've always admired you for that, and the fact that you always post in your own name. So I'm disappointed in you, that you don't seem to mind this, much worse, transgression.

Don't misunderstand my comment, Anne. I do not like any exchanges in blogging that can be hurtful.

There are a number of commenter's who routinely post anonymously. It does seem, with some notable exceptions such as one of my favorites, Issac Laquedum, that those that post anonymously often do so to say mean spirited and make often times baseless, outrageous statements.

To the extent anyone does that, I agree with you that it does a disservice to a good, healthy discussion.

I also appreciate your clarifying for me that my interpretation of your earlier comments was wrong. I plead guilty to having quite an active
-and sometimes overly cynical- inner ear.

I do appreciate and respect that you and Frank do post in your real name. Although we don't always agree, it says a lot about both of you that you are willing to say what you think publicly without disguise.

After reading allegations of hyperbole and of efforts to silence criticism, I began to think: "Hmmm..I wonder if somebody wants the property where DDA is located for something else". I have seen that development interests sometimes use a sympathetic "poster child"..So, today, I took a slight detour from an errand and went over to NW Raleigh. I parked outside DDA and rolled down the windows. I didn't hear any sound at all coming from inside. That block appears to be all commercial/light industrial(Platt Litograph is opposite). There is no condo construction going on for about a 2 block radius, a sizeable Trammell Crow project being about 21/2 blocks west.

Twentysomething kids next door are throwing a kegger with loud music. Should I call the P.D. if I can't sleep, or Randy Leonard? Mmmmm.

I'd call the Schumachers and tell them it's a PETA Tupperware party.

What it means, Sadie and Randy Leonard, is that any issue that has to do with impacting someone's land value, running a business, or what goes on next door to their home - will always take precedence over unimportant issues, such as crime, schools, and transportation.

People - at least in this society - cannot readily comprehend the greater issues that affect us all, the public. Rather, most people can only relate to issues as they might affect themselves personally.

Perhaps this is why we have such low voter turnout as compared to countries in Europe, where they realize - after living through 2 world wars, massive genocide, and communist russia as a neighbor threatening nuclear war - that these issues have a critical impact on their life.

As I posted above, perhaps there is a relationship between what happens in the world and what happens next door; as William Blake said: "A dog starved at its masters gate predicts the ruin of the state".

What I have found is that caring is caring and there is a lot to be said for the position that crime is related to lack of care in the small things. As for Europe, yeah, people have seen lots more there. Maybe that is why, in France, you can take your dog into restaurants.

in France, you can take your dog into restaurants.

Indeed. And having been lucky enough to have been to France many times, and seen many dogs in restaurants, not once has one been misbehaving.

When we got our dog Homz from the Humane Society, the reason given for his previous owners giving him up was he kept "digging under the fence and running away."

Well, duh, they kept him outside, never let him in the house, and the dog --a Llhasa-Apsa/Terrier mix, had little contact with the family. Homz sleeps in our bedroom --if not our bed (he's asleep on the floor right next to me at the moment)-- and has never, once, run away. I've taken him to off-leash parks...but there's no point because he just walks next to me.

We all --and I include our furry friends here-- rise to the occasion to meet expectations. Most of the time, anyway. Our cat adopted us when we were having a serious mouse problem...and he was a serious mouser. The mice...c'est fini!

Not especially relevant to the discussion, I suppose, but it would be nice to end on a pleasent note after the exertion of so much emotional energy. Dogs aren't the enemy, neighbors wanting their peace and quiet aren't the enemy...what's needed is systems to help us work through troubling issues that can point toi positive outcomes.

I know its not always going to happen, but I also think it can happen more often if we stop to listen to each other. I, again, applaud Jack for providing a neighborhood space where that discussion --however awkward, strained or unpleasent-- could happen.

What about all the homeless people and their noisy shopping carts full of beer cans a rattlin' in the night? (tongue in cheek)
What about drunk kids leaving 21st and 23rd ave. bars every night at 2:30AM, boisterous and extra noisy? And then some will peel-out and race off-the-line at every stop sign. A drunk driving patrol might be a 'good' thing once and awhile, ya think? Just roll down the cruiser windows, you can "hear" the offenders. They should be easy to catch. Oh yeah, shift change is 2AM for the Portland Police. No cops on the streets as the bars close? Who thought-up that plan? The drug dealers come out to solicit drunks just as the cops go underground and park it for the night inside the 'Justice Center'. You should come out and see it for yourself, Randy. It is quite the spectacle. Guys flagging down cars, whistling, hooting, pointing, etc. License plates are from all over the place, and from Washington State in particular. They come here to smoke cigs while they drink, and then some will buy drugs, etc. What about the garbage trucks jamming their gears and racing up and down the streets of nw portland every Wednesday and Sunday morning at 4AM? What about putting those dumpsters underground (under the curb and sidewalk) What about making sidewalks, bus stops, and public building entrances NO SMOKING. I get gassed-out every morning on my way to work. I get gassed-out and poisoned walking to the grocery store. It should be monitored. If I owned a coffee shop, but intentionally released benzine, formaldehyde, and nicotine into the doorway would You close me down? In a perfect world YES. But health and other concerns are completely ignored by y'all. What about those with weakened or vulnerable health and immune systems? And what about the other homeless people sleeping in their cars throughout the nw industrial and nw warehouse zoned streets? Have you ever seen all the cars and campers full of people at night Randy? They are having a heck of a time making a go of it. They live in their cars because they cannot earn enough for housing even though most of them are working full-time. Look all around you and prioritize my friend. This neighborhood has many livability issues. Mixed Use zoning is just that, Mixed Use. If you live in a storefront property, deal with it. There will probably be another storefront right next-door.

Randy -- thanks for your willingness to help out DDA.

When you are thinking of places DDA might fit -- here are a few observations from a previous work-day neighbor and customer:

1. They bring in a good deal of traffic, and it's good traffic, if there are retail businesses in the area that could benefit from more eyes on their window display’s.

2. If there are parking issues in the area, such as on NW Raleigh, DDA folks are great customers -- 15 minutes is good. They can turn over one or two parking spots all day long and not stress the long-term parking capacity of the street. Plus, many folks who work nearby will walk there to drop off their dogs. Other near-by businesses will also benefit, when folks drop off their dogs before heading out happily to shop or get a massage or whatever, in peace :-)

3. Customers will seek them out. Dog Daycare and Grooming places are exploding across the city. But, there are only a few really high-quality places. A lot of mediocre places, and some really appallingly abusive places.

Homz, as Frank has explained, came to us via the Humane Society, with some bad memories. One of the worst memories appears to revolve around being groomed. This sweet, "born an old gentleman" dog -- would come apart when I took him to be groomed. So scared, he would try to climb to the top of my head when we'd walk through a grooming/daycare door.

I've taken him to places across the city. Some would hand him back to me, shaking and upset, with multiple bleeding nicks on his body. Others would hand him to me, shaking and upset, with no nicks, but still distraught, and while they would rave about how cute he was, there would be a sort of shadow, "he's really a pain in the butt" attitude, under it all.

He's a very likable dog. But you could tell, they didn't like him.

He used to shrink and cower and cry when I'd walk him through the doorway of grooming places. After three trips to DDA he would leap up the stairs, fine with being there.

The owner of DDA is good with dogs. More importantly, she hires people who are also good with dogs. Kind, understanding, people who love and again, more importantly, understand and like -- dogs.

This rare quality is what aroused the customers of DDA, like Stuart, like myself, to try and defend it. DDA provides a quality of care that is uncommon. A person who loves their dog, appreciates that.

(I do realize, btw, that sometimes people who are really good with animals are not as good with people. )

What has been the hardest for me to accept is that this is a dead done deal. I think that is what upset most of the DDA supporters who commented on this blog. I wish there could have been a win/win moment.

I know much of this is past and done, but if there is any way I can help -- in a positive, proactive way, as you assist DDA in finding a new space, please let me know, Commissioner. I would be happy to talk to businesses about my experience working near DDA, for instance, if that would be of help. Or, I don’t know, I don’t really know what might be of help, but it would be a good end to this record-making blog thread if we could turn it into something more positive, instead of more ranting. I’d bet all the rest of the DDA supporters would agree with me on that....

I promise to check all weapons at the door. :-)

It’s “Spring Forward” today. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could figure out a way to “spring forward” on this issue?


And, one last comment. Frank mentioned that I have been a customer of Seams to Fit. Yup. I have.

They have two sales a year that are not to be missed if you love fine woman's clothes, and don't have any issues around buying them used.

I got the greatest suit in my closet there. For the same thing I would have paid for a knock-off at any department store. But it fits and hangs and moves, way way better.

Plus, I've found several really nice shirts on their sales rack. I wear them regularly.

If you value value -- "Seams to Fit" should not be missed.

They are my neighbor. I did not agree with them on this issue. But I wish their business well, and I will shop there, again. (I'd like to think we can all disagree, that we can all be as passionate and honest and open about our feelings as possible, and still come back together at the end of the day, and figure out what we can now do, to make the best of the situation, for all of us.)

The violets are blooming in my garden. The sun comes out, on occasion, and the peas and lettuce are peeping up out of the cold spring soil in the beds.

Fawn lily is in bloom -- look for their small sweet nodding heads in native woodland gardens.

So many posts. So many people, caring so much -- on one side or the other. Can we wrap it up in a way that will allow us to move forward, putting all rancour to bed?

Spring's a great season. It's the time of new starts...

25, 20, 15, 10 feet. So now we are upholding the letter of the law. I would certainly like to see that principle applied to zoning regs.

How many adjustments to the approval criteria (variances) have been approved by Planning to accomodate incursions into setback requirements when someone desires to build a larger house next to their neighbor?

One of the problems with the CoP is there no longer seems to be any standardization afforded citizens in the City's administration of its own rules, reg and statutes.

Actually, Anne, I have a close family member that is also a loyal customer of DDA. Long before this post, I had some "insight" as to how popular my asking the city's 25 foot setback would be with DDA customers.

Lets just say I have both professional and personal motivations to try and help DDA get into a location that is good for them and good for the community.

I really don't want to have to have a "taster" accompany me to family dinners.

Plus, 'fess up, you'd miss the dog humping your leg.

Actually, he has only ever stayed at two places apart from his "Mom's and Dad's"...yep, you guessed it...our house and DDA. Rosey loves him.

"Sometimes people who are really good with animals are not as good with people".

Vicki Hearne, the late animal policy scholar and author of "Bandit; Dossier of a Dangerous Dog" takes the position that people who are good with animals also understand people better, since they better grasp "the Other".

I met Hearne when she agreed to be a witness for me in a case I had representing two social pariahs: a homeless man and a pitbull- against MCAS in the early 1990s. I found her and the book amazing-something really fresh every few pages. The book contains a quote-Witgenstein, I think that (paraphrasing) an understanding of the world comes through an understanding of dogs. Reminds me of something Huxley said about how we can understand human psychology by keeping cats. Biologist William Jordan's book "Darwin: How a stray cat turned a man into a human being" is another that shows how valuable pets can be to people, both as friends and teachers. People who won't see this are missing something huge.

I am really dismayed about the mean-spirited nature of people who will jump on some bandwagon and take such bitter sides in a very obviously complicated situation, the details of which most of us commenting probably know very little about. I am a business neighbor of DDA, and of Anne Dufay, and since I know who Anne is I have expressed to her personally my disdain about her comments – 10 postings, that’s a lot of one-sided opinion for someone with just a passing knowledge and involvement. She seemed, for some reason, to feel compelled to weigh in and pick sides. I feel she took a side and it was unfair of her to side with DDA and express it in a way that was so defamatory and negative about the resident/neighbor. I feel that many of Anne’s comments were inappropriate, rabble rousing, and encouraging and threatening of actions against the “other side” in this case. Snide comments suggesting other types of disruptive businesses that could move in seem to me unnecessary and inappropriate…she sounded almost gloating at the thought that “drunks can pee and pass out in the shrubbery…” ; oh, and by the way Anne, I would appreciate it if you quit allowing your dog to pee on my bushes on your daily walks. Anne told me she never meant to advocate or suggest such things and that I must have misread her statements; but I can see by some other postings that I am not the only one who interpreted her comments as such. Anne also seemed to want to add fuel to the fire by exclaiming on this blog “how sad that this is happening where a run down building was fixed up”, implying that DDA somehow improved the curb appeal of that building. That remark is plain and simply false. Nothing has changed to the outside of that building. It has not looked run down for quite some time. It is a very attractive and well maintained building and was such when it was vacant prior to DDA’s arrival. I can only suspect that this remark by Anne was solely meant to add more sensationalism to her apparent “cause”. Anne stated to me that she did not single anyone out or take sides, but in her comments she asserts that “a great deal of money has already been spent to soundproof the place. Enough, so I have been told, that the noise of the barking dogs was in compliance with city noise allowances. Just not enough to satisfy the neighbors”. That doesn’t sound fair and balanced to me – “Just not enough to satisfy the neighbors”. And “so I have been told” doesn’t seem justification for asserting that this claim is true. She also makes a comment “would the next-door neighbor have been satisfied”, again seeming to want to imply that the neighbor is just an unreasonable complainer.

I had to laugh to myself when Anne, in her 9th or 10th posting, urges everyone about “putting all the rancour (rancor?) to bed…” and states that she is “…so tired of all the hyperbole”. I guess we are all guilty of wanting the last word, or wanting the discussion to stop once we have had our say. It seems that others have reacted negatively to her comments. I wonder if her desire to put the rancor to bed is mostly because of that?

However, now that I come back and read this blog more thoroughly, I feel bad for singling Anne out, as so many people on here, besides just Anne, seem insensitive and mean-spirited about the plight of a neighbor who simply stood up for her rights to peaceful enjoyment of her home – as any of you know you would do in the same situation. I feel so many people commenting on here are guilty of the same things for which I have accused Anne. Anne simply had the misfortune of hearing my crabby reaction to her remarks because I know her; and for that I apologize to her. I also believe in expressing myself directly to the person I have an issue with, so I wanted to do so with Anne before I commented in this public forum.

So many of you seem so willing to vilify the “complaining neighbor” for wanting to maintain a comfortable quality of life, yet turn the owner of DDA into an innocent martyr. I realize we all have a right to express our opinions, but it is just really sad and discouraging the way some have gone about it. I have nothing but empathy for the resident/neighbor. That empathy does not necessarily mean DDA was in the wrong; I don’t have enough knowledge of the case to make that assertion. But none of you would want to have a very noisy 24-hour business suddenly move in next door to your homes. You would think that even Jennifer of DDA should have some compassion and understanding of what it must be like to be in that situation.

Without having first hand knowledge of all the facts, I fear that BOTH of the parties involved here are probably victims of inept bureaucracy. Who would want an overnight dog boarding facility suddenly open up next to their home? On the other hand, agreeing with “Sam”, I also feel bad for DDA if indeed they did perform all the due diligence prior to opening only to be told LATER that they do not comply with regulations. (I saw this once happen, in another city, to a food business that sold alcohol, and the person lost tons of money. They were given an alcohol license and allowed to open, only to be told later they had to close.) If that is the case, perhaps some restitution by the city or county is warranted – to both parties involved!. If that is truly what happened, both DDA and the neighbor/resident are victims. But again, my main point is that the villain here is not the neighbor who lives next door. I also don’t feel the proper solution would be to let DDA stay because a mistake was made. And I certainly don’t think it’s appropriate to turn the neighbor into the “bad guy” here and make defamatory and threatening remarks about her business.

Again, I have no first hand knowledge of the legal issues; who obtained what permits, authorization, codes, zoning, etc. But as a business neighbor on the block who has been able to observe, I would guess at least as much as Anne Defray, I have my own perspectives about some of the chatter in here regarding this issue that seems to have turned to a more personalized nature.

“Kea” the friend of Jennifer’s, understandably felt it was appropriate to stick up for her friend, but I feel that naming the “complaining” business and the resident/owner’s name was completely uncalled for. For one thing, it is my understanding that any complaints were made as a resident, not from the perspective of the business. I am not surprised that Kea didn’t also mention that Jennifer/DDA had some sort of problems at her previous location. Jennifer told me she had to move out of her other location because of air conditioning issues. However, her ex-manager seems to have immediately continued on and is running her own dog care in the same location. That seems incongruous to me. Did any of you that feel so strongly about this issue research why DDA moved from the previous location in the Pearl?

“Misteroonis” goes as far as calling the resident/neighbor a “bad representative of begin (being?) a good neighboir (neighbor?)”. In all due respect, I think that is an unfair statement. Are you a neighbor? Do you know these players personally? Do you want to hear dogs barking all night long? Personally I have experienced just the opposite from that neighbor. When I moved my business into the neighborhood (prior to DDA), ALL of the neighbors, including and particularly the residents/owners next to DDA went out of their way to be welcoming and helpful and have been supportive ever since.

However, since the subject of neighborliness was brought up, I would like to express that I personally have not felt that DDA has been a good neighbor, especially in the beginning. When DDA moved in, literally overnight, I got the impression, and in fact it was confirmed by talking to Jennifer, that they had to move quickly. Therefore, it seems they moved in PRIOR to retrofitting the building with soundproofing. Anne Defray mentions that a “staff person” at DDA “confirmed that the daycare area is walled in insulated concrete”. Anne, did you confirm this yourself? Or was the word of Jennifer and her staff enough for you to decide that they were in the right and the “complaining neighbor” was in the wrong?

When DDA first moved in, I could hear dogs barking all day long through the front of their building. I would notice Jennifer outside talking on her cordless phone, and I am guessing that is because she could not hear her conversation from within her office in the front of the building. They soon thereafter insulated the front of the building between the dog area and the office, most likely to alleviate the noise in her office and not out of any consideration for her neighbors – sorry, that is just my opinion.

DDA has no off street parking. Within days of DDA opening, her clients would very presumptively pull into my parking lot to unload their pets. A parking lot that obviously belongs to another business, and in no way can be misconstrued as “public parking”. I watched out the window as Jennifer walked out and greeted them and escorted the dogs back to her facility. When I spoke to her about it, she claims she was walking over simply to tell them not to park in my lot. That is not what it looked like to me. Also, suspiciously, my permitted A-board sign on the corner was moved to make way for DDA’s sign. While of course I realize that the corner is to be shared, I did not appreciate the fact that my sign was moved into the handicap ramp area, thereby subjecting me to possible fines. It seems they just pushed my sign aside to make room for theirs. When I asked Jennifer about it she denied doing so, and of course, I have no proof that she did; but it does seem suspicious that my sign had been there for a number of months and was never moved until that morning that DDA moved in.

In short, regardless of all the legal issues, since so many of you have made this personal and about "neighborliness", I personally feel DDA moved in like a bull in a china shop and Jennifer’s attitude has always seemed, to me, to be that all the neighbors need to just “deal”. She might have done herself a great service to go around and do some PR. Perhaps, as a good neighbor she could have introduced herself to everyone and let them know that she understands it might be a concern having a dog care facility nearby but she will, in time, do her best to mitigate any noise or disruption. In fact, had she had one neighborly, civil word to say to me I probably wouldn’t even have minded her customers parking momentarily in my lot. Heck, it might be good for business. But frankly, it was the presumptiveness and arrogance that bugged me. I never sensed anything but attitude from Jennifer from the very first day.

In my opinion, it seems like any adjustments DDA made were simply reactionary, done only when they were pressed to do so when faced with complaints. Is that a good neighbor? Anne mentions that “…sometimes people who are really good with animals are not as good with people”, and on that point I must agree. Still, I don’t think all this means she should lose thousands of dollars from opening a business that is not appropriate for the location, if indeed it was a city or county mistake that allowed her to do so. But again, I also strongly feel that the resident/neighbor should not be brow beaten and ostracized for taking a stand about her quality of life.

I also agree with Anne when she says she is sad that “this whole miserable thing ended up so poorly” and “too bad we couldn’t have found a way to let sleeping dogs lie”. But whose fault is it? The resident/neighbors? DDA’s? The city or county? And no one has asked where the owner of that building has been throughout all this confusion! Shouldn’t they have weighed in, or known the proper use of the property? And, were those “sleeping dogs” indeed sleeping? Anne Dufray seems certain there were rarely many dogs there and that they did not bark at night; but she works in the area during the day and lives in a different neighborhood at night. I often stay open, or at least work pretty late, and walk home in the neighborhood. I will say, prior to the front insulation being installed, I very often heard dogs barking at least as late as 10 and 11pm. This did not bother me personally as I was working and not trying to sleep and enjoy a home life. Therefore, although I had a lot of empathy for the residents/neighbors that live next door, I personally chose not to wage any complaint or become involved in any way with any complaint against DDA. I actually somewhat regret this decision now as I feel it is so unjustified that one party is getting all the grief for this situation and made to look like they are solely at fault. But, at the time, I felt that regardless of my empathy for my neighbors, it would be unfair to get involved when I was not personally affected by the noise. In the same vein, I think it is unfair for so many people, like Anne Dufay and others, who are not directly involved, to weigh in such strong one-sided opinions, advocate retaliation, and to express such hurtful and defamatory statements against that resident/neighbor. It’s shameful.

Woof, woof, woof, woof NO TRAM....Woof, woof.

I think that you really don't know everything that you think you do? This has to be the business Eclectic Home speaking. I know who you are and you where a problem form the beginning just like Ann, and as far as you thinking that Jennifer moved your sign, well your wrong and it's just like an unfriendly neighbor to put the blame on a new neighbor. I also would advise you to keep your speculations to why she moved from the pearl to yourself. DDA customers know the real truth and it's a far cry from what you’re tying to assume. You and Ann both need a go outside your business and look at where you live, and you'll see large buildings and we call these buildings warehouses. You are in an Industrial zone! Also Jennifer did go around and introduce herself and her business and you two where the only ones that was unfriendly. I appreciate the fact that you’re defending your good friend Ann, but the fact is that Ann destroyed many lives and someone’s dream business. Just so you know if you have any soul at all? 7 people lost their jobs! Not to mention investments that where made in this business that probably will never be recovered and lives that will forever change because of it. It makes me sick to my stomach that one person can be so selfish and easily destroy someone's life dream with no care in the world. I know for a fact that Ann said that she didn't care what was done to the building that she wanted the business out and wouldn't stop until it was closed. I wouldn't call that very business friendly. I don't speak for Jennifer but she is a great person that chooses not to make waves and did every thing to accommodate and work with her neighbors. Ann on the other chooses to do the opposite. Rick you and I know the real truth about this and you by the way are coming in to this discussion a little too late.
I wish the best luck to you and Ann on your little street of dreams, because this is all about Karma and reality is that what comes around goes around. Maybe you'll get lucky and the next business that moves in will be worst than what you had with DDA. I can think of many that would be worst and you won't be able to simply remove them like you did with DDA.

Sorry, I didn't mean Ann, I was refering to Sherry at Seams to Fit.

I think it is unfair for so many people, like Anne Dufay and others, who are not directly involved, to weigh in such strong one-sided opinions, advocate retaliation, and to express such hurtful and defamatory statements...

Ah...you must be the gentleman who came into my wife Anne's place of employment today, berated her, and left her feeling threatened, vulnerable and shaken.

Sir, you will be find me far less pleasent to deal with then her. You ever threaten her again, you will be dealing with me. I strongly advise you to avoid that.

Jack, if you want to remove his weird rambling post --and my response-- feel free to do so.

Anne, I would appreciate it if you quit allowing your dog to pee on my bushes on your daily walks.

Sorry. Homz tells me its his favorite place.

I have met with Jennifer Day and we are working together to relocate DDA to a much better location than the Raleigh Street site.

Because I do agree that the problems were not solely of DDA's making, the Bureau of Development Services is waiving all fees normally assessed in the approval of Jennifer's new location.

We are facilitating this permit in an expedited fashion that will allow Jennifer to meet her goal of opening the New DDA sometime in May.

I think I can say Jennifer is pleased with the cooperation she is receiving from the city and county on this new site. I have promised her that I will personally intervene to overcome any bureaucratic red tape.

Please join with me in focusing on this very, very positive outcome. And please, let this debate cease.

I believe we have successfully resolved the legitimate concerns of all the parties and there is absolutely no point in my friend Frank having to roll up his sleeves and meet anyone at high noon in the middle of NW Raleigh.

Although there is a part of me that would enjoy that, the mature part of me has to tell you guys to knock it off.

Thank you.

Randy Leonard wrote:

"One last comment. I am sorry Stuart that your original email to my office wasn't answered immediately. We do answer all emails..."

Randy -
On Feb. 8 I sent you an email concerning an article I was writing for a local publication. Two months have passed, and I've yet to receive a response.

I don't know what they are going to be doing but there is a place called "Dogs In The City" that looks to be opening near 33rd on Broadway... Right on the back side would be residential... Here we go again... Ought to be interesting...

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