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Frazer officials update rules for kennels

| Wednesday, July 8, 2009

In the wake of the Tiger Ranch investigation, in which hundreds of dead or dying cats were discovered at the now-defunct sanctuary, Frazer officials placed tighter restrictions on kennels.

The ordinance, approved Tuesday, also addresses future oil and gas well drilling in the township and universities or colleges wanting to locate within the township. Under the new kennel regulations, any facility with 10 or more domesticated pets, instead of four, will be designated a kennel.

Kennels with outdoor runs, pens and coops must have a minimum setback of 200 feet from all property lines. The kennel lot requirement will increase from 2 to 5 acres and outdoor kennels must be enclosed to ensure a cat or any other animal can't climb out of the enclosed area.

Animals can't run loose outside other than in a completely enclosed area.

Supervisors are requiring that outdoor kennel areas must be screened by a 6-foot-high compact hedge or opaque fence.

Supervisors cautioned that existing establishments, such as Tiger Ranch are "grandfathered in" and not subject to the new ordinance as long as the original use of those particular sites continues.

Tiger Ranch owner Linda Bruno still is awaiting trial on multiple charges stemming from the investigation of her property.

In the new oil and gas well portion of the ordinance, wells can be drilled only in RA (residential agricultural) and I (industrial) districts; applicants must show the proposed routes of all trucks, subject to township approval; overweight vehicles must provide a road bond; wells can't be within 200 feet of an existing dwelling unless the owner consents; an emergency response plan for the drilling area must be set up; an anticipated start and end date to site prep and drilling activity and a plugging date need to be established.

The ordinance does not apply to existing wells.

In the final part of the ordinance, supervisors will permit a university or college without dormitories to locate within the Corridor Site Overlay (CSO) district on the Pittsburgh Mills mall property.

However, if an institution with dormitories in the future wants to come in, it can get a conditional use permit in the periphery surrounding the mall.

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