April 15, 2019 - ZBA

April 15, 2019

Present: Dan Welker, Gene Dayton, Jason Tardio, Counsel Bell, Stephanie Perotti,

Frederick Micale, Dean Costanzo, Curt & Dixie Tobin, Curt Tobin, Jr., Jim Monaco,

Amanda Ferris, Robert Williams, Thomas & Chris Scott, Gary Blair, Erika Blair, Jill


Absent: John Ceresoli, Paul Adams, Brian O’Connor

Chairman Welker called the public hearing to order for Stephanie Perotti (Critter

Sitters) at 7 p.m.

Secretary was asked to read the legal notice as it appeared in the Post Standard.

Chairman Welker asked Ms. Perotti to explain the reason for her request for a special

permit; her attorney Frederick Micale spoke. He explained that Ms. Perotti had been

contacted by Code Officer Geer a few months back in regard to her dog

daycare/boarding operation at her home located at 112 Salt Springs that was operating

without proper permits. A public hearing was held with the Village Board to change the

zone thus allowing Ms. Perotti to apply for a home occupation for the dog

daycare/boarding operation. Attorney Micale commented that it was indicated to him

by the Zoning Board that the application submitted for Ms. Perotti was complete and

that a public hearing would be held this evening for special permit. Ms. Perotti spoke

and advised that she has been operating a daycare operation in home for a total of 20

years (starting is Syracuse) and then continuing to operate at this location for the past

12 years. She noted that the pet industry is booming. This location is home based with

relatively few neighbors, she has use of Village utilities, and the setting is perfect for her

business, largely surrounded by woods and ravines. She commented that her previous

Attorney (not Mr. Micale) had advised her that no permits were needed for the use she

purchased the property for. She currently employs five employees who work at various

shifts as walkers, pack leaders and cleaner. She has three employees at the home at one

time. The signage she has is etched into a large granite rock near her home and is

approximately 2’x2’ in size with the words Critter Sitters. She explained there are five

different play yards that are each fenced in separately and the dogs travel and rotate to

each play yard in a group. All areas she pointed out are fenced. For the boarding part of

her operation, this begins after 6 p.m. and dogs are inside the home and not outside

again until 7 a.m. unless a walk is required. There is parking for her employees and a

place for individuals dropping off their dogs throughout the day so there is no issue with

space. Curt Tobin Jr. as if there is a maximum number of dogs that will be allowed for

boarding. The peak time, according to Ms. Perotti would be 50 (peak time she defined

as times that coordinate with the school calendar for breaks to include Thanksgiving,

Christmas, winter, February, spring breaks -those time when the kids have school off.

She further explained that while the dogs are boarded, they are confined to her ranch

home. A question on height of fences was asked. She commented that in some areas at

the top the fences are 6 feet in height and at the ravine part of the property they are 5

feet in height. A question was asked how often dogs have jumped the fence. Ms. Perotti

stated at a high estimate it might be three dogs per year. She and her staff immediately

take steps to retrieve the dogs if they do jump the fence. Jim Monaco commented he

has used Critter Sitter for six years and he commented the Ms. Perotti provides a

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healthy atmosphere for dogs and this operation is a great asset to the community, the

staff is great with the animals and the Village is fortunate to have a place like this in the

community it adds value to community, definitely an asset. Amanda Ferris brings her

dogs to the facility and commented that the community should take the facility seriously

– Critter Sitters is great, Stephanie is great. There is care and concern for the animals.

She said using Critter Sitters she also uses other services in the Village at least two times

per week. Robert Williams brings his dog to the facility and commented it is a superbly

run operation; Ms. Perotti treats the dogs as if they are her own. He is thankful to have

her facility available and he hopes the Board approves her request. Chris Scott who is

Ms. Perotti’s neighbor commented she is a good neighbor and she and her husband’s

home share a driveway with Ms. Perotti, there have been no issues with traffic or noise

and the Scott’s are in support of her as a business owner; she is very respectful. Erika

Blair who is Ms. Perotti’s #1 fan hopes that the Board approves the special permit

request. She runs an amazing operation. Chairman Welker asked the Tobin family

(who immediately border her property) have they needed to contact the Village for any

complaint in regard to the facility. Mrs. Tobin commented that they did complain about

leaves and dog feces that had been dumped on their side of the fence a couple of years

ago. Mrs. Tobin asked that Ms. Perotti tidy up her mess. Finding this mess on their

property was very upsetting as this part of their property is very private and they like to

use the area to mediate and relax. It breaks their heart that this mess was left. Mrs.

Tobin asked that Ms. Perotti be a good neighbor. Ms. Perotti commented that in

response to the dog feces issue complaint, she looked into and installed a disposal

system to take care of the dog feces issue about two years ago. Gary Blair commented as

an entrepreneur; the Village needs to look at the quality of care that is provided for the

dogs at the facility. Stephanie is a true professional, the dogs are maintained well, the

care goes above and beyond; she won’t take money from someone if the customer is not

satisfied with the service. Another resident commented that it is a wonderful operation

and Stephanie has a gift for animals and the facility is clean. Counsel Bell asked that as

part of the proceedings for the special permit; Section 148-37 F 1-9 be reviewed by the



That the land use or activity is so designed, located and proposed to be operated that the

public health, safety, welfare and convenience will be protected. (Ms. Perotti – yes)


That the existence of the proposed land use or activity will not cause substantial injury

to the value of other property in the neighborhood where it is to be located.

(Ms. Perotti – yes)


That the proposed land use or activity will be compatible with adjoining development

and the implied character of the zone district where it is to be located.

(Ms. Perotti – yes)


That adequate landscaping and screening is provided. (Ms. Perotti – 6 ½ acres, ravine

in back, slopes and grades backup to Tobin lands, and ravine backs up the St. Patrick’s

cemetery, surrounded by trees, set back off the road 550’)

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That adequate off-street parking and loading are provided and ingress and egress are so

designed as to cause minimal interference with traffic on abutting streets.

(Ms. Perotti – yes)


That the proposed development minimizes erosion and will not cause increased surface

water runoff on abutting properties. (Ms. Perotti – yes)


That existing public roads and utilities serving the proposed development are

determined to be adequate or that provisions for needed upgrading are satisfactory.

(Ms. Perotti – yes)


That the proposed use or activity conforms to all applicable local, county and state rules

and regulations, except as may be otherwise set forth in Subsection G of this section.

(Ms. Perotti – yes)


That the proposed use or activity is in compliance with the Village of Chittenango Site

and Architectural Design Standards for Commercial Design Overlay Districts if located

within the design overlay districts. (Ms. Perotti – n/a not located in Overlay District).

Chairman Welker reported that Madison County Planning Board has reviewed the

application and returned their comment GML Log #030-2019

No adverse county-wide or intermunicipal impact would result from the operation of a

dog daycare/boarding business within a LDR zone, therefore this Special Permit

application is being returned for local determination.

Attorney Micale commented for clarification purposes that not only are the five play

yards fenced, the property is fenced as well. The dogs are contained within two fences.

Chairman Welker asked if there were any deliveries to the property. Ms. Perotti

commented that twice a year she has dog food delivered. With no further comment

from the audience or the Board, the public hearing was closed at 7:35 p.m.

Chairman Welker advised that the Board will reach their decision within the next 60

days. Mrs. Tobin asked where she might find a copy of the dog daycare language. She

was advised that it is on line at eCode360.

Chairman Welker called the regular Zoning Board meeting to order at 7:35 p.m.


The Board members reviewed the minutes of March 18, 2019. Upon the motion made

by Gene Dayton, seconded by Jason Tardio, minutes of March 18, 2019 approved as

written. All members present voting in favor.

New Business

Stephanie Perotti – Critter Sitters Special Permit

Chairman Welker made the motion to approve the Special Permit for Stephanie Perotti

(Critter Sitters) at 112 Salt Springs Road for a home occupation for dog

daycare/boarding operation, seconded by Gene Dayton with the following conditions;

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There will be a limit of three employees in addition to Ms. Perotti, the operation takes

place in the home and the property owned by applicant surrounding the home, fencing

as noted around the five play yards will be a minimum of five feet for those near the

ravine on the property and six feet at the top of the property as described by Ms. Perotti,

during the daycare operation daytime operation there will be a maximum of 60 dogs,

during the boarding time 6 p.m. to 7 a.m. on off peak times a maximum of 15 dogs, week

nights a maximum of 15 dogs, weekends a maximum of 30 dogs; during peak times a

limit of 50 dogs for boarding (peak times described by Ms. Perotti as during holidays

that coincide with school breaks, long weekends (holiday), and summer), number of

employees at one time recognizing shifts up to three additional staff people and Ms.

Perotti. The Board notes that Ms. Perotti has agreed to maintain the property to

properly accommodate the number of dogs and she also maintains the fencing around

the five play yards and property as described at the hearing this evening. Her operation

will be consistent with practices as standards she described this evening as well. The

question of the motion was put to vote by roll call:

Gene Dayton yes

Jason Tardio yes

Dan Welker yes

John Ceresoli absent

Brian O’Connor absent

Motion carried. Special Permit approved for Ms. Perotti (Critter Sitters) at 112 Salt

Springs Road.

Chairman Welker commented that Brian O’Connor absent this evening due to the death

of his step mother. Our thoughts and prayers to Brian and his family.

With no further business, meeting adjourned at 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,

Jill A. Doss

ZBA Secretary