Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Seneca County SPCA Zoning Defended

Excerpt from the Finger Lakes Times:
FAYETTE — For six years, Jenny McWhorter and Stephen Webb have operated the Seneca County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals on their property at 4438 County Road 121.

And all that while, they thought they were in compliance with local zoning laws.

But the Town Board adopted a new land use plan in 2008.

McWhorter said Fayette Planning Board chairman and Town Highway Superintendent Roswell Parks told her in November that the shelter was not only in violation of the new zoning law but hadn’t been in compliance with the old codes, either.

According to McWhorter, Parks told her the Planning Board would most likely deny the SPCA a permit or variance if it requested one.


Then, on March 12, McWhorter was served with a violation notice by the Seneca County Building and Code Enforcement Office.

It claimed the not-for-profit shelter was in violation of the new Fayette land use plan as a commercial kennel.

McWhorter, though, said she believed her operation was “grandfathered” and legal.

“We have not had any complaints from our neighbors or incidents with our dogs from 2003 to the present time,” McWhorter said. “We take extreme measures to assure we do not bother anyone, and [we] keep dog waste picked up and disposed of properly daily.”

Former County Attorney Steven Getman of Ovid has agreed to assist the SCPA.