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Bullskin couple gets approval for kennel

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Thursday, Oct. 31, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The Fayette County Zoning Hearing Board granted a special exception for a Bullskin couple to have a kennel on their property.

Billi Gowatski asked the board on two occasions for permission to build a 30-capacity dog and cat kennel on the property zoned A-1 agriculture where she and her husband live. Wednesday's zoning hearing was the third time she appeared before the board after two hearings were continued.

The decision came after more than three hours of testimony.

Those against the kennel said they had concerns of noise, odor and safety.

Neighbor Edward Franks said he had concerns his quality of life would change for the worse if the kennel would go up. In previous hearings, Gowatski's testimony of her plans for the kennel showed the facility would meet the county's zoning ordinance requirements, including keeping the recommended distance of at least 100 feet from other residents' property.

Franks said he fears for his safety if a dog would get loose. He has four children, and there are four other children in the area younger than 12.

“Would you build a house next to a 30-capacity kennel?” asked Gretchen Mundorff, the attorney for those against the building of the kennel.

Theresa Franks said she wouldn't choose to live near a kennel.

Rich Bower, attorney for Gowatski, asked the neighbors if they had looked into possible uses for an area zoned A-1. Farms could produce the odor of fertilizer and noise from animals such as pigs and sheep.

“I never thought of a dog kennel coming to the area,” Theresa Franks said.

Michelle Lowe, another neighbor, said her bedroom window faces the proposed kennel location.

“The noise would keep me up,” she said.

Resident Kimberly Ulery said her home does not have air conditioning and her windows are open all the time. She worries about odors that would come from the kennel.

Neighbor Jonathan Poorbaugh was in favor of the kennel.

“It's their property. They should do what they want with it.”

Mark Hofmann is a staff writer with Trib Total Media.

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