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Benton will hold public hearing April 7

PENN YAN—Barking may be the last issue to be addressed before a cat and dog sanctuary is formally establProposed cat and dog sanctuary.ished in the town of Benton.
At the March 26 meeting of the Yates County Planning Board, Reigning Cats and Dogs owners application for a special use permit to operate the Route 14A facility was reviewed. The facility is owned by Robert Krouse and Rosalie Ayres. Krouse said, “We want to be good neighbors. We would be more than happy to have our neighbors call us if there is a problem.” Board member Jerry Stape, who along with town code enforcement officer John Phillips and other members of the town zoning board, said, “My only concern is that people deserve peace and quiet. They are doing a good deed, taking care of abandoned animals and trying to find them homes.” At the time of their visit March 8, there were about 12 dogs and 20 cats on the property. In his report, Phillips said, in part, “The board members felt that the need was there for this type of facility. They did question the dog noise issue and felt the answer to that question would come at the Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing.” A public hearing on the application for a special use permit for the facility will be at 7 p.m. April 7 in the Benton Town Hall on Route 14A.
Phillips said he had spoken to Don Cass, director of the Humane Society of Yates County and Cass said the facility would be favorable to his organization if they had an overload of animals. The proposed sanctuary is less than two miles from the humane society facility.
Reacting to a portion of a letter Krouse and Ayres sent to the Benton Zoning Board, county planning board chairman James Ritter said, “We have to do what’s in the law. You don’t need to be tearing people who are doing a business apart.” Ritter was referring to a comment in a letter to the Benton zoning board that stated one in four of the dogs rescued from dire circumstances originated from “puppy mills.” It went on to say the local breeders who are given permits by boards to house 250 to 1,000 dogs and that those animals are abandoned when they become adults with housebreaking and other behavioral problems.
In other business:
• Approved a revision of a proposed local law from the town of Milo regarding restrictions on the construction and operation of outdoor heating devices. The county board had returned an earlier version of the law to the town because it felt it was too restrictive with regard to setback requirements. The town could have approved the earlier document by a majority plus one vote, but they chose to take another look at the proposed law.
• The board discussed a request for a letter of support to be included in a grant application for funds from the Restore New York program from the Finger Lakes Economic Development Center and asked that they be provided with more information before a decision is made on a letter of support.
• Pending approval of the Yates County Legislature at their April 13 meeting, Alan “Herb” Snyder and Ron Rubin will be appointed as new at-large members of the county planning board.
The next meeting of Yates County Planning Board will be at 7 p.m. April 23 in the closing room in the Yates County office building.

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