Why even bother with a show of an appeal for Angela Jrab? Obviously, per the Zoning Appeals Board, it had pre-determined to deny the special permit for The Puppy Shop [“County will revise zoning to disallow standalone companion animal retailer,” Fauquier Times, June 9, 2021].
The board chairman made a show of dismissing the 130-plus written comments, concerning puppy mills as outside the scope of the hearing. But did they really?
Then, the board addressed four zoning violations, but first stated the violations constitute an expectation of repeated violations.
Look at the four violations:
Complaint A: “Starting construction work before building permit approval.” The building permit application was to convert a dry cleaning business to a pet store. The actual offense was removing standing equipment! The board had to stretch to consider that a building violation.
Complaints B and C: “Posting unpermitted signs.” Ms. Jrab followed the example of neighboring businesses. If the county did not take the other businesses to task, then why was Ms. Jrab singled out for sign violations?
Complaint D: “Having too many animals on site.” The zoning special permit specifically states, “24 puppies for sale on site.” The permit continues saying “no breeding, grooming, training, or boarding” on site. Ms. Jrab was cited for having 31 puppies on site. Only 24 were for sale, as specified in the permit. The additional seven puppies were not for sale but placed in quarantine which is not prohibited. The permit as a legal document is definitive; thus, the list cannot be modified on a whim.
To an observer, Angela Jrab was specifically targeted with “spurious” violations for the sole purpose of orchestrating reasons for denying her special permit.
Why would the zoning board not hear or address any statements or investigation on the housing conditions of the puppies? Nor accept the good standing The Puppy Shop has with the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office’s Animal Control Division?
All of this leads to the conclusion that the zoning board was biased and pre-determined to deny the special permit.
Especially when the rest of the story is heard.
Just two weeks following the zoning review meeting, per the Fauquier Times, June 16, the Fauquier County Board of Supervisors announced they are going to rewrite zoning codes to prohibit retail pet stores in Fauquier County. In order to “ … respond to the uproar a New Baltimore puppy retailer … ” had created.
Really? And the board of supervisors wants us to believe they were not working on this goal before the zoning board had a “fair and honest” hearing for Angela Jrab and her Puppy Shop.
Does the board of supervisors understand that 130 written complaints and 10 speakers complaining about puppy mills does not constitute an “uproar” by the community? In fact, 140 individuals are merely a ridiculously small portion of the county populace.
Ms. Jrab’s extensive records show that her puppies were received in healthy condition from respected breeders.
Obviously, a biased board of supervisors and zoning board decided to support a small vocal group and deny renewal of The Puppy Shop’s special permit.
Finally, will the board of supervisors really bring the updated language to the populace for their input?
The Puppy Shop’s permit should be immediately approved.
In addition, the members of the board of supervisors and zoning board should be replaced, and the county attorney’s office should start an investigation on the conduct of the board of supervisors and zoning board.