A pet cremation franchise may be opening in Plano after city officials amended a zoning ordinance allowing the operation of funeral homes for animals.
“This is an example of where our ordinance was overly … restrictive in its language and so (it) needed perhaps some modification,” City of Plano Director of Planning Christina Day said before a public hearing on October 23. “In order to address the issue at hand, we were approached by a potential business owner who wanted to operate a pet funeral home that included a crematory. We met with them and found some shortcomings in the ordinance.”
The amendments provide a new definition of funeral parlors and mortuaries — specifically changing “human bodies” to “deceased bodies.”
“In the concept of adding crematories, we looked at that use pretty extensively,” Day said. “It does require a TCEQ permit, and there are additional restrictions for animals only. We did talk to Animal Services, who’s the singular operator of a crematorium in Plano today. They said they had received some concerns from city employees that are the same property, and so we made recommendations based on this knowledge.”
Such concerns involved odor control and emissions.
“The draft standards do include maintenance requirements because it was their observation this only occurred whenever there were maintenance issues with the equipment,” Day said. “Our proposed amendments would allow for both animal and human crematories meeting the state and city requirements.”
The Animal Services crematorium is at the city’s animal shelter at 4028 West Plano Parkway in a district zoned light industrial. Operators of animal funeral homes in Plano must acquire specific-use permits in the same districts.
“My wife and I are considering Plano as a location for our pet funeral home and crematory,” Alan Blakemore wrote to city officials. “This is a franchise opportunity with Pet Passages. Each Pet Passages franchise location must meet very specific Pet Passages brand requirements concerning all operational procedures, facilities amenities, interior design, furnishings, and equipment.”
Based in New York, Pet Passages has franchises in 11 states, according to its website. It does not yet have any locations in Texas.
Blakemore, in his letter, said that Pet Passages in Plano will average two to eight cremations each day, with a Monday to Saturday schedule, between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Emissions are roughly equal to that of a backyard barbeque grill, he said.
According to insurer Choice Mutual, more than 200 pet crematories operate in the U.S., and about 85 million households in America own at least one pet. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, consumers spent more than $100 billion on pet-related expenditures per a 2021 report.
Pet Passages is not alone in looking to make a foray into North Texas with pet-related services. Pet hospitality company GoDog is angling to find the right franchisees to expand its services in the region, as previously reported by The Dallas Express.