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The Real Deal Los Angeles

Doggy hotel: Yup, there’s a zoning exemption for that

Now you know
By Cathaleen Chen | April 13, 2017 02:00PM

(Credit: Dog-E-Den)

Here’s something to paw-nder. In case you were wondering, the overnight boarding of dogs and cats is not permitted in a typical Los Angeles commercial zone.

That’s why Dog-E-Den, a pet hotel and spa that opened in Sherman Oaks last year, filed for a zone variance Monday, city records show.

The code allows a “[b]ird store or taxidermist, or a pet shop for the keeping or sale of domestic or wild animals” in the C2 zone, but it does not mention the overnight boarding of such animals explicitly.

Dog-E-Den at 15122 W. Ventura Boulevard (Credit: Dog-E-Den)

For this reason, according to a planning department spokesperson, Dog-E-Den had to make the request. It’s likely that the pet center on Ventura Boulevard received notice from the L.A. Department of Building and Safety to comply with the zoning code, the spokesperson said.

It’s also possible, he added, that the pet center on Ventura Boulevard had been knowingly operating without complying with the code since it opened in April 2016.

The variance applicant and agent registered to Dog-E-Den, Eugene Barash, could not be reached for comment. Other representatives at the pet hotel declined to comment.

L.A.’s ailing zoning code — which has remained pretty much unchanged since it was penned in 1946 — is very literal. Anything that isn’t explicitly named it in necessitates a zone variance, the planning spokesperson said.

To accommodate some hyper-specialized uses, the code has accrued a list of supplements that address, among others, commercial earthworm farms, baby gyms, and pigeon keeping facilities, Curbed reported in 2014.

Guess doggy hotels didn’t make the list.

The city kicked off a comprehensive overhaul of the zoning code in 2012. Read more about L.A.’s zoning issues here.