The Town of Burlington recently refined its ordinance regulating barking dogs and other noisy pets to better address complaints from neighbors. (file photo)

Update comes on heels of complaints

By Jason Arndt

Staff Writer

The Town of Burlington in recent weeks have received complaints of dogs barking from residents and decided at an Aug. 26 Town Board meeting to move forward with plans to change a portion of its ordinance.

The change, which passed unanimously, added language under calling for a formal complaint procedure and further clarity related to excessive barking by dogs.

Brian Graziano, town administrator, said the decision comes on the heels of recent complaints.

“We have had some people around town complain about a neighbors’ dog barking excessively,” he said, adding the original ordinance did not include specific metrics such as how many times law enforcement responded to particular residences constituted a violation.

“Law enforcement would come out and they would have nothing to go off of because the dogs would stop barking (when they arrived).”

Under the new provision, according town documents, it shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to keep or harbor any dog that habitually barks, howls, or yelps, or any cat, which habitually cries or howls to the great discomfort of the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.

“Such dogs and cats are hereby declared to be a public nuisance,” the ordinance further states. “A dog or cat is considered to be in violation of this section when two formal, written complaints are filed with any town law enforcement officer within a four-week period.”

Previously, the ordinance only covered dogs barking for 30 minutes, or more, which could cause a disturbance to neighbors and general public in the area.

Graziano said the new provision allows better direction for law enforcement.

“Now, this ordinance gives it a little bit more teeth. There are actual written warnings that people get,” said Graziano.


Further investigation

Additionally, upon receiving complaints, the Town of Burlington learned the property in question at 35400 Ridge Road housed a dog breeding business.

The dog breeding business, according to town officials, was not officially approved under town and county zoning provisions.

Graziano, however, said town and county officials are working with the property owners to resolve the issue and allow them to continue operating.

“They weren’t zoned business district, so we are looking into that,” he said. “We are kind of handling the zoning issues with the county.”

As for the ordinance change, Graziano essentially said the update came in response to complaints about barking at the property.

For additional news from the recent Town Board meeting, see the Sept. 2 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.