Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Town Board rules in SPCA’s favor

From the Finger Lakes Times:
The [Fayette] Town Board has overruled the town Planning Board, determining that the Seneca County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is not violating town zoning code.


The Town Board approved a motion 4-0 saying the SPCA was “grandfathered” in under the current town code and can continue operating.

“We are convinced that the rules were followed and were properly interpreted, so this is the best resolution,” said Edward Barto, town supervisor.

Jenny McWhorter and Stephen Webb have operated the SPCA for the past six years on Webb’s property.


“This is such a load off our minds,” McWhorter said of the Town Board’s decision. “We were worried that the outstanding zoning issue would hurt our mission and damage our fundraising.”

She said she was grateful to the board and Town Attorney Stephen Ricci for reviewing the matter with SPCA attorney Steven Getman of Ovid.

Getman, who did not charge for his services, was also pleased.

“It was always our position that the shelter was operating legally,” he said. “Not only was it there before the current town zoning code was adopted, but as a duly incorporated SPCA, [it] serves a valid, public purpose in promoting animal welfare.”