TALLMADGE — A church is asking for rezoning of a 7,400-square-foot area for a dog training facility.

The planning and zoning commission Feb. 6 considered an ordinance to grant a conditional zoning certificate for special non-residential development to the owner of the Shepherd’s Pasture for All Nations, 361 Northeast Ave., to modify the use from religious place of worship to personal services for 7,400 square feet of the building.

The church had approval for an indoor softball training facility but that business left and a new one wants to move in, according to church elder, Kurran Bishop.

The change will have no impact to the site, he said. The businesses does not occur during church hours and the church sanctuary is separated from the auditorium by a large concrete wall.

The same area was approved for church accessory use with an ordinance that granted an expansion of the religious place of worship but now it needs to be zoned for personal service.

Mayor David Kline said the church was zoned "special non-residential development" and is adding another use, "personal service." The underlying zoning still exists.

Planning and Zoning Commission member Pat Larson said he wanted the building to be safe, and Director of Law Megan Raber said different code requirements are enforced for different uses of building areas. The fire department and building department would inspect the building before allowing occupancy for the new use.

Bishop said the area will be a dog training facility to prepare dogs for competitions such as diving.

Michelle Filler of Duke’s K9 Flash N’ Splash will use the facility to teach dock diving to dogs.

The hours would be late afternoon into the evening and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons if necessary, she said.

"This is space we’re not using," Bishop said.

"It’s a clean operation and will work out well," Kline added.

Council could accept the amendment at its next meeting Feb. 20 for a second reading and vote on the legislation at a third reading at a future meeting.

Gannett reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or lfreeman@recordpub.com.