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Real estate dispute arises between homeowner, dog shelter

When a residence in Florida has an unusual neighbor, a legal dispute may well develop. On one side, you have the people who live in the house. They say that the neighboring business or organization is a nuisance, because of noise, odor or other bothersome thing.

On the other side is the neighboring property. They will often say that they are within their rights to operate, and that the city and courts have no right to force them to shut down.

These real estate legal issues can be complex and contentious. Often, factors such as zoning, ownership and property rights come into play.

In an example from another state, a couple is trying to shut down a dog shelter near their upscale home. They say that the no-kill shelter makes too much noise and creates a foul stench. The husband claimed at a recent public hearing of county commissioners that the kennel was housing more than 50 dogs as of Feb. 11.

The couple said that the number of animals in the shelter means that it should have been built on property zoned for agriculture, not a residential zone. But an attorney for the shelter denied that his client did anything wrong. He said that the county approved the owner’s plan to have a no-kill shelter at that location, and that she has never been cited for excessive noise.

The attorney said that the development was rezoned from agricultural to residential -- but only after the developer sold 14 acres to the homeowners.

This case is made especially tricky by the implication that if the shelter is shut down, the dogs may have to be killed. The homeowners and their attorney deny that they are trying to euthanize the dogs.

The county commission adjourned without taking action. So the dispute may end up going to court.

Source: Albany Herald, “Dog dispute in Lee County likely headed to court,” Danny Carter, Feb. 12, 2014

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