Neighborhood controversy developed over a dog kennel, Follow My Lead, that opened in a historic building that was once an African American schoolhouse.
Neighborhood controversy developed over a dog kennel, Follow My Lead, that opened in a historic building that was once an African American schoolhouse. (Ulysses Muñoz / Baltimore Sun)

The Baltimore County Council on Monday approved new rules for where commercial kennels can be located, but said they won’t apply the regulation retroactively.

Amid a neighborhood controversy over a dog kennel on Greenspring Valley Road, Councilman Izzy Patoka had sponsored a bill requiring commercial kennels to be at least 200 feet from any residential property line. The council approved Patoka’s proposal 7-0.

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‘No Kennel’: Dog business at historic black schoolhouse in Green Spring Valley sparks Baltimore County backlash

A bill before the Baltimore County Council Monday could shutter a newly opened dog-training business in the affluent Greenspring Valley as opponents argue such a "kennel" is incompatible with the bucolic setting.

But his amendment to make the bill retroactive to January failed. Instead, the council approved an amendment by Oella Democrat Tom Quirk and Dundalk Republican Todd Crandell to ensure that the new rules won’t apply to any existing kennel in a residential area.

Patoka introduced the bill following an outcry over 2705 Greenspring Valley Road, a historic African-American schoolhouse dating to the 1930s. The property owner received county approval to use it as a kennel in March, despite objections from neighbors.

Patoka, a Pikesville Democrat, said he wanted to simplify rules and protect neighborhoods. He said his bill addressed details the county overlooked when it previously reviewed kennel zoning issues in 2001. For instance, the county required a 200-foot setback for commercial kennels in commercial areas, but none for such kennels in residential neighborhoods.

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