The nightmare next door

My brother has put every last dime into renovating a pair of duplex homes in Kansas City, Missouri. He has made them into really nice rental units. This is not the usual flipper behavior of slapping on some paint, but gut rehabbing the kitchen and bathroom, completely re-wiring the buildings, new plumbing, heating and air conditioning, washer and dryer upstairs, heated tile floor…the works.

For years, we had a commercial property next door that manufactured medical valves. Light manufacturing, and never heard a peep out of them. Great neighbors.

They moved out to the burbs, and the building sat empty for two years. And a nightmare in moving in. A dog kennel.

The parking lot is between my brother’s building and their building. And they have erected fences for dog runs. They are putting the dumpster, which will presumably be full of dog shit, right by my brother’s unit’s driveway!

I have called the city, and they confirmed that there were no building permits issued. They are doing this on the cheap, to judge from the amateurish quality of the work. They cut a poop trench in the parking lot, intending to wash the dog shit and pee into the storm drains!

Just this evening, they put up very bright lights, shining right into the bedroom windows of the unit!

What to do? How can we stop this nightmare, that will destroy my brother’s apartment rentals value?

First thing to do is look into zoning for the area. In some states, kennels have to be zoned for agriculture. If the kennel needs to get a zoning variance, you can fight them on it at the county level.

I guess you could also look into laws about disposal of feces within a certain distance from a residential area?

It’s zoned M1, or “Light Industrial”

That is the issue the City officials seemed to get excited about, washing dog shit into the storm drain system, which goes untreated into the Missouri River.

I can’t find what type of zoning a kennel needs in Kansas city, but I did find this.

88-315 ANIMAL SERVICE
88-315-01 STANDARDS
The use standards of this section apply to animal service uses:
88-315-01-A. All animal shelter or boarding must be within a completely enclosed
soundproofed and air-conditioned building.
88-315-01-B. In District R-80, shelter and boarding kennels shall be located not less than
200 feet from any property line.
88-315-01-C. Domestic animals may be exercised in a designated and fenced area outside
the building with an attendant present.
88-315-01-D. All outdoor runs or exercise areas must be hard surfaced or grass.
88-315-01-E. A landscaping, screening, and fencing plan to shield the use from adjoining
properties and/or public right-of-way must be submitted for approval.
88-315-02 NOISE LIMITS
There may be no noise disturbance across property lines into any residential district exceeding 60
dB(A) between the hours of 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. and 55 dB(A) between the hours of 10 p.m. and 7
a.m.

I’ve looked up the zoning. It says kennels are permitted:

My brother’s buildings are zoned R2.5.

So are the pens located 200 feet away from your brother’s property line?

OK, so they are much closer than 200 feet from my brother’s property line. Closer to 2 feet. They obviously have not submitted the fence plans for approval, given that they haven’t even applied for a building permit in the first place.

In this picture, the raised bit of concrete is my brother’s property line. That’s his driveway.

I also found this. It’s the application for the kennel permit.

#11 says that they have to provide documentation that all zoning laws with be conformed to. Maybe a trip down to the animal control office is in order.

Kansas City code enforcement

Oh man, that company is *so *effed in the a. Post back with the results! It sounds like what they’re doing is a code violation (several, actually), which (given that they haven’t moved in yet) means you could get them shut down before this becomes more than an eyesore. Let’s hope!

You mean the barking lot, amirite?

They are currently 4 blocks away. I have no idea why they didn’t look at any locations that would allow them to be in compliance with codes and wouldn’t be a gigantic pain in the ass to a residential neighborhood.

The eyesore is less of a problem than being an ear and nose sore as well.

Yup, code enforcement is the way to go for your brother. It sounds like it could be a good thing that they aren’t bothering with anything so mundane and boring as getting approvals for the business they’re planning - that way, the bylaw enforcement people should be able to shut them down.

Your brother may wish to get his neighbors involved as well, given that this affects them too. Also, some animal rights group or other may be interested in dogs “playing” on asphalt for profit and may wish to shut them down on general principles. Same thing with TV reporters, though it helps to get some dogs for the cameras so you will want to wait to call the press.

In addition to getting the city to send out an inspector to determine if the site is up to code, your brother might also want to see about instituting (or threatening to institute) a suit for private nuisance. Broadly, nuisance law determines whether a neighbor is interfering with one’s enjoyment of one’s own property, and further, the neighbors offending behavior is unreasonable. It is generally employed by those living adjacent to shooting ranges, concrete blasters, and animal husbandry businesses.

I went out and shot what the light they hung yesterday looks like.

Here is a view of the light from my back yard three doors down.

The light through the 12’ high chain link fences.

Here is the side of my brother’s house.

Here is the back of the house.

Here is the light on the wall in the back bedroom.

Your brother needs a row of Leyland Cypress, stat.

I have friends who live about a quarter mile from a boarding kennel and the noise is bad. Get a lawyer!!

Sounds to me like the place to start is zoning. That’s what I’d do.