Owner/Applicant:                                                       Board Meeting Date:

James N. & Marilyn S. Shackelford                              December 16, 2002

Staff Lead:                                                                 Department:

Robert C. Counts                                                         Community Development

Magisterial District:  Marshall                                    PIN(s):

Service District: None                                               6945-52-2882-000

Topic:              A Resolution to Approve SE03-M-07, Category 2 Special Exception for

Residential Businesses, and SE03-M-08, A Category 13 Special Exception for

Commercial Businesses and Personal Services PIN 6945-52-2882-000, Marshall District , James N. & Marilyn S. Shackelford, Applicants

Special Exception requests SE03-M-07 and SE03-M-08 - Category 2: Residential Businesses, and Category 13: Commercial Businesses and Personal Services

Topic Description:

The applicants propose to operate a small, by appointment only, full service dog grooming business known as the Dog-Gone Delightful Day Spa. They plan to serve 2-4 clients per day.  They also propose to board 4-6 dogs per day. These business activities will occur within an existing 29-foot x 20-foot kennel structure already located on the property within an 87-foot by 147-foot fenced area.

The property consists of 25.01 acres. It is located on Redlin Lane near its intersection with Cliff Mills Road   (Route 681).

Requested Action of the Board of Supervisors:

Hold public hearing and take action on the requested Special Exceptions. Consider adoption of attached resolution.

Financial Impact Analysis:

No fiscal impact analysis was required.

Identify any other Departments, Organizations or Individuals that would be affected by this request:

  • Community Development
  • VDOT
  • Health Department

Staff Analysis:

Staff and appropriate referral agencies have reviewed this request for conformance with the Comprehensive Plan, the Zoning Ordinance, and other relevant policies and regulations. Staff and referral agency findings, comments, and recommendations are summarized below.

Code Requirements

Category 2 Residential Businesses: The proposed residential business is consistent with the home occupations requirements and standards contained in the Zoning Ordinance Sections 5-201, 6-302-11, 6-303, and 6-305 as these sections pertain to permitted uses, prohibited uses, hours of operation, signage, number of employees, operation of equipment, etc.

Category 13 Commercial Business and Personal Services: The proposed operation is consistent with the general standards of Section 5-1301 (Additional Standards for Kennels) with regard to lot size, building setbacks, design of the pens and dog runs, and number of dogs to be kept on premises.

Zoning and Land Use

The property is currently zoned RA (Rural Agriculture).  Consistent with this zoning category, this property is located in a district that contains the areas where agriculture and forestry are the predominant uses or where significant agricultural lands or large lot type residential development exists. Properties on all sides of the subject property are also zoned RA.

Normally, the proposed uses are allowed by Special Permit within the RA zone.  However, the subject parcel is located in the Orlean / Hume Agriculture and Forestal District.  In accordance with the State Code of Virginia, properties located in Agriculture and Forestal Districts require Special Exception approval by the County Board of Supervisors prior to site plan submittal.  The proposed kennel use will require an approved site plan prior to the issuance of a zoning permit.


Redlin Lane is a privately maintained street. The Virginia Department of Transportation  (VDOT) does not enforce entrance standards on private streets and therefore provided no comments on the location, design, or installation of an entrance serving the property.

VDOT did comment that the street tie-in at Redlin Lane and Cliff Mills Road , Route 681, does not meet current standards for a private street. VDOT recommended that the entrance be improved in accordance with its Minimum Standards of Entrances to State Highways to a Standard Private Subdivision Road/Street Entrance.  This improvement would include widening the entrance to 24 feet and paving the first 25 feet of the private road.

Staff feels that, given the limited use proposed by the applicant, this suggested entrance improvement is not warranted and should not be required of the applicant at this time. 


Both the Health Department and the County Soil Scientist raised the same concern about the potential for hair blocking the drainfield. They cited the possible need for a pretreatment device or a filter being added to catch any dog hair before it enters the shared septic tank. The applicant has responded to this concern by providing evidence of the installation of a “hair interceptor” in the drain line.  Staff and members of the Planning Commission observed this device on a site visit to the property.

Response to Public Hearing

At its October 24, 2002 , the Planning Commission conducted a public hearing on this request; however, deferred action pending a site visit.

Testimony by adjacent property owners at the public hearing reflected the same concerns voiced by a single caller prior to the hearing.  In general, the speakers had no problem with the operation of the dog grooming business on the scale proposed by the applicant and during the hours of operation indicated. They were, however, skeptical of the proposed overnight boarding of dogs in the existing kennel area, stating that the previous owner of the property built the kennel facility and used it to house a breeding operation. The speakers indicated that the location and orientation of the kennel and dog runs focused noise away from the house on the property and toward adjacent properties.

Following the public hearing, the applicant met with her neighbors and has been successful in overcoming their concerns. In two instances, she has gained their support. Patrick and Nancy Kerns, and Jonathan and Barbara Slaton have submitted letters amending their testimony to reflect that they no longer have concerns about her proposed business operation.

Planning Commission Recommendation:

Based on staff analysis and a site visit conducted on November 21, 2002 , the Planning Commission determined that the applicant has adequately addressed the concerns raised during the review and public hearing process. The proposed residential business is consistent with the applicable requirements relating to uses permitted, uses prohibited, hours of operation, signage, number of employees, and operation of equipment. Similarly, the proposed commercial business and personal services operation is consistent with the requirements relating to lot size, building setbacks, design of the pens and dog runs, and number of dogs to be kept on premises.

Therefore, at its meeting on November 21, 2002 , the Planning Commission voted unanimously to forward the requests for Category 2 and Category 13 Special Exceptions to the Board of Supervisors with a recommendation for approval subject to the following conditions:

  1. The approved Special Exception shall be granted for and run with the land indicated in this application and shall not be transferable to other land.
  2. Future renewals of this Special Exception shall reconsider the need to improve the private road entrance as recommended by VDOT.
  3. The subject parcel under this Special Exception shall not be subdivided without amendment to the Special Exception in accordance with the provisions of Article 5 of the Zoning Ordinance.
  4. The proposed grooming use shall be limited to no more than 4 grooming clients per day.
  5. The hours of grooming operation shall be limited to 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. , Monday through Saturday.
  6. The proposed dog-boarding use shall be limited to boarding of no more than 6 dogs per day.
  7. The term of this Special Exception shall be limited to three (3) years from the date of site plan approval.
  8. The applicant shall file a site plan within one year of approval of this Special Exception.


  1. Location Map
  2. Special Exception Plat
  3. Board of Supervisors Resolution of Approval