Garage sales hit with limit
New zoning affects kennels

COVINGTON - County commissioners have passed amendments to the zoning ordinance and development regulations, including one that limits the number of garage sales residents can hold per year.

Now, anyone who holds more than two garage sales a year is required to obtain a temporary commercial-use permit from the Planning and Development Department.

With a permit, garage sales may be held for up to four days and no more than four times per year.

Planning and Development Director Marian Eisenberg said the amendment is a preventative measure to guard against continuous yard sales that are really more like businesses.

"We haven't had a lot of problems. The biggest problem is people putting signs in the right of way. I've seen people in the city who have them up all the time. This was a preventative thing to keep from having them on an ongoing basis," Eisenberg said.

Another amendment puts additional restrictions on kennels.

Previously, the county issued two use permits for kennels - those with four to 10 dogs were considered hobby kennels and those with more than 10 dogs, commercial kennels, requiring a conditional use permit.

Now, "anything with four or more dogs needs a conditional-use permit," Eisenberg said, adding that enforcement of that regulation will be "complaint driven."

"It's not our intention to regulate pets. We'll look at it on a case-by-case basis. If you're breeding, and have pens and that sort of thing, it's probably a kennel. If we get a complaint, we'll look into it and see."

Commissioners also imposed setbacks for outside pens of 50 feet from intermittent streams and 150 feet from perennial streams.

"That is the standard setback we have for a septic field. If you do have a kennel with lots of dogs, there's lots of refuse associated with that, and if you're near a stream, it will runoff and pollute that stream," she said.

Another amendment increases the allowed size for guest, tenant or caretaker houses.

The houses may be 50 percent of the heated square feet of the primary residence or 800 square feet, whichever is greater. Previously, guest houses were limited to 800 square feet or less.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.