Minutes/Edina City Council/January 6, 2009
<br /> neighboring quality of life, units sharing common walls, limited green space, and amount of animal
<br /> waste. In December, notification of the application for this permit was sent to surrounding
<br /> residents. Mr. Long stated to date, nine a-mails in opposition and two stating no-objection had
<br /> been received. He read the objections that were received and stated staff recommended the
<br /> requested permit be denied based on the complaint received and objections of this multi-family
<br /> neighborhood.
<br /> Proponent Presentation
<br /> Wayne Carlson, 523 Coventry Lane, stated they would like to have five pets, which they have
<br /> owned for nine years. He showed the Council pictures of his three dogs and cat and described the
<br /> age and temperament of each. He advised of the certification, competition levels, and rally titles
<br /> for each dog. All dogs train several times a week, compete monthly, and last year they spent
<br /> $5,000 on trials, training, seminars, and massages following trials. Mr. Carlson stated his
<br /> neighbors generally vacation five to six months a year, and the neighbor to the north spent two
<br /> weekends each month at their cabin. Mr. Carlson noted a complaint indicated his dogs had
<br /> jumped on people, but his dogs have had no contact with people in the garage for the last year.
<br /> He stated his dogs were under control, leashed, licensed by Edina, of a toy variety, live indoors,
<br /> weigh less than 50 pounds, a great asset to his health, and a credit to Edina because they
<br /> perform well. He explained that the residents who complained have no issues with his two cats,
<br /> which were living at another premises, concluding he would like them back home.
<br /> Mayor Hovland opened the public hearing at 7:39 p.m.
<br /> Public Testimony
<br /> Vicki Handler, 500 Indian Hill Road, Chanhassen, stated she was the daughter of Patricia &
<br /> Seymour Handler, neighbors to the north who entered the complaint but were unable to attend the
<br /> meeting. Ms. Handler stated she had provided a statement to the Council advising of her mother's
<br /> position. She said her parents were in their 70's and acknowledged that under certain situations
<br /> pets could have a calming effect on their owners; however, her parents had endured this
<br /> disturbance for nine years and received no response or satisfaction from Mr. Carlson. Ms. Handler
<br /> noted her parents have been wakened at 6:00 a.m. on Sundays because the dogs were trained
<br /> inside the shared garage located below their stairs. They have been personally accosted by the
<br /> dogs, and have asked Mr. Carlson to call off the dogs. However, Mr. Carlson suggested her
<br /> parents talk to the dogs and pet them. Mr. Carlson had also put up a volleyball net to protect the
<br /> Handlers when entering the garage, but the net became entangled in the Handler's car door. Ms.
<br /> Handler explained that contrary to what was said, the dogs were not on a leash, and the condo
<br /> association had specifically reprimanded Mr. Carlson for not having the dogs leased. There had
<br /> also been feces in the garage. Ms. Handler stated her parents felt it was not appropriate to reward
<br /> Mr. Carlson with two additional pets when he had been irresponsible with the three pets he
<br /> already had, especially in a multifamily situation with common walls. She stated Mr. Carlson's
<br /> dogs had caused considerable distress to her parents for a number of years.
<br /> Member Swenson made a motion, seconded by Member Housh, to close the public hearing.
<br /> Ayes: Bennett, Brindle, Housh, Swenson, Hovland
<br /> Motion carried.
<br /> The Council agreed this was an important but difficult decision because it was known that Mr.
<br /> Carlson loved his pets. While the Council was sensitive to pet owners, it had to consider the larger
<br /> issues of the City and believed that the ordinance established a reasonable number of pets. In
<br /> addition, it was noted there were not extenuating circumstances since none of the dogs was
<br /> needed as a service animal. With regard to a time limit, Deputy Chief Long advised that the
<br /> Animal Control Officer had suggested 30 days. The Council indicated this time limit would be
<br /> reasonable.
<br /> Member Bennett introduced Resolution No. 2009-08, Denying Permit to Allow over Three
<br /> Pets, Wayne Carlson, 523 Coventry Lane. Member Swenson seconded the motion
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