Animal rescuers feel they’re being attacked after zoning change in Levy County

Published: Feb. 20, 2023 at 10:39 PM EST
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BRONSON, Fla. (WCJB) - A zoning change that was put in place in 2022 has caused some problems for Levy County residents.

“That led us to having to look at all of our different zoning in our county and what uses, and land uses are appropriate in different areas of the county,” said commissioner Matt Brooks.

This has caused code enforcement to put regulations on many groups like animal rescues. Lexi’s Kitty Corner was hit with fines last years and asked to remove all animals and sheds off the property.

“You cannot be allowed here unless you have 10 or 20 acres which is going to be their kenneling code, but there’s no code or statute in Levy County’s anything saying you cannot operate animal rescue,” said Lexi’s Kitty Corner founder Alexis Lewis.

Other rescues have had code enforcement knock on their doors as well saying they’re in violation and may have to shut down.

But Robin Tjiong of House of the Happy Cats said they haven’t broken any codes.

“My big thing is and I’m so sorry, but I’m going to get upset because everything that I did and their coming after me like I’m a criminal.”

Tjiong said the county will feel the impact if rescue is not allowed.

“A decade at least of hard-working people in getting animals fixed and reducing the population in one year it’s going to be undone.”

Brooks added the county has a plan on where these animals will go and said rescues are welcomed but it has to be within the code.

“Must be located and operate in different zoning zoned areas if they’re going to be a nuisance to their neighbors our primary responsibility is to the residents of our county.”

A workshop meeting will be held on Tuesday at pm to discuss if rescues will be allowed in rural residential areas.

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