Duxbury: Doggie day care woes on Franklin Street

Responding to complaints from neighbors of Duxbury’s “Kennel in the Pines”, zoning enforcement officer Scott Lambiasse ordered the operators to cease and desist certain outside activities. The owners appealed that order to Duxbury’s zoning board Thursday night.

Duxbury has had a dog kennel at 500 Franklin Street, adjacent to Route 3, since 1962. Some of Duxbury’s 16,037 dogs stay there for a week or a day. New owners, since 2007, have erected new fences, added new services and have come under new criticism.

Over the summer the dogs could frolic in three outside fenced areas, and as they frolicked, they barked. Across the street, neighbor Pam Webster-Walsh filed a complaint about the noise to Duxbury’s zoning enforcement officer Scott Lambiasse. He issued a cease and desist order on the outdoor playgrounds. He did not comment of the inside space for up to 30 dogs.

Thursday night Walsh gave the zoning board of appeals a petition signed by all the immediate abutters. The neighbors’ attorney, Bob Galvin, gave the zoning board an application for a special permit to extend a non-conforming use–a use of a property that does not conform to neighborhood zoning but has been in place since before zoning.

That got the attention of the lawyers on the board. Duxbury adopted zoning in 1944, 18 years before the establishment of the kennel. Further, the town bylaws do not contain the word kennel.

“You’ve been asked to grant a special permit to extend a non-conforming use,” Bob Marzzelli, attorney for the neighbors told the board. “You can’t extend a thing unless it lawfully exists in the first place.”

The board gave both attorneys a long list of questions to answer before the group reconvenes Feb. 28. The neighbors say they have no objection to the existence of the kennel, they only object to the outside noise. But, now that the question of non-conforming use has arisen, the zoning board cannot ignore it. Galvin hinted he may argue that the kennel was an adjunct to the farming use of the property which far outdates zoning.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.