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Zoning board allows N. Huntingdon family to keep small farm animals

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By Rossilynne Skena Culgan
Wednesday, July 3, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

A North Huntingdon family will be allowed to keep small farm animals on a plot of land that's just shy of the required acreage typically required for barnyard animals.

The township zoning hearing board approved 3-0 the request from Art and Bonn McSorley Tuesday evening.

Art McSorley said he bought a 9.89-acre tract along Masters Lane hoping to improve the property with a small farm.

Under township zoning rules, a 10-acre lot is required to keep farm animals and livestock in the rural residential zoning district, zoning officer Tom McGuire said.

“A 10-acre lot would be approved without a variance,” McSorley said. “So we're just claiming that we're so close to 10 acres we should be allowed to have the farm animals.”

The zoning hearing board decided the difference in acreage was minimal enough to OK the plan.

“The amount of difference is so small,” Jacqueline Willis, board president said.

There's no additional property for the McSorleys to purchase to increase the lot, she said. Plus, she said, they do not plan to house large animals there.

McSorley said they will not raise full-size cows or horses. They may keep smaller animals, such as sheep, goats or miniature cows. A combination barn-garage would likely be built for the animals, he said.

The land could be used for an orchard and pasture, he said.

The property currently houses a three-bedroom house, a barn and a three-car garage.

Rossilynne Skena is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6646 or rskena@tribweb.com.

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