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Detroit dog day care gets go-ahead to expand

Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio
Liz Blondy will be able to expand her growing dog day care business onto land where the Birdtown garden now sits in Detroit's Cass Corridor.

A contentious land dispute between a Detroit small business and a community garden has been resolved in the business’s favor.

The Detroit City Council voted this week to allow Canine To Five, a dog day care facility, to buy adjacent property to expand its business.

That land is currently occupied by the Birdtown Community garden.

Liz Blondy owns Canine to five. She says she’s disappointed that the dispute was framed as a “business versus gardens” issue.

“Detroit is in no position to kind of rule out small business growth or community gardens. They both offer a lot to the community. I wish that we could have worked out a way with the current community gardeners to find a parcel for them somewhere on this block.”

Blondy and city officials say they offered to help move the garden to another vacant spot in the neighborhood.

Sue Weckerle, a representative for Birdtown, says the two sides tried but failed to reach a compromise.

Weckerle says the garden isn't interested in moving, but some plants and other garden resources will be removed and taken to other gardens in the area.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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