Citizens who oppose a planned dog adoption center because of the potential noise from barking dogs made their case to Conoy Township supervisors.
River Road resident Cody Walker told township supervisors at their meeting on Thursday, Nov. 9, that he is concerned that barking dogs will disturb the peace in the area.
“They want to put 66 dogs there, which are going to bark all the time,” Walker said
Solicitor Matthew J. Creme Jr. said the township has no noise ordinance and it cannot presume that the adoption center will violate other laws.
“There’s no prejudging that they will violate the nuisance law, that they will violate the dog law,” Creme said.
Creme said the township can only question the applicants for Almost Home Dog Adoption about things in the land development ordinance.
“We don’t have any reason to ask these questions because we don’t have any reason to regulate noise. … If it isn’t in the land development ordinance, we can’t inquire into it,” Creme said.
Walker compared the dog adoption center to an auto racing speedway. He said if he had bought a house next to a speedway, he would have no right to complain, but if a speedway was being built next to his house, the predictable noise would be a reason to oppose the plans.
Supervisors Chairman Stephen L. Mohr said he could not presume that noise would be a result.
“The next speedway that’s built might use all electric cars,” Mohr said.
Another River Road resident, Jamie Bell, said she lives across the street from the planned adoption center site and agreed with Walker’s concerns.
“I have enough trouble sleeping at night as it is,” Bell said, adding that if she is awakened by barking dogs late at night, “Somebody’s getting a phone call.”
Mohr said that although the township was limited in the questions it could ask, there was nothing stopping individual citizens from asking those questions. Residents will have the chance to question Almost Home at the township Planning Commission meeting, which is scheduled at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 5, in the township building.
In other business, supervisors decided not to pass a resolution opting out of gambling expansion after concluding that they had no objection to something like a video slot machine at the American Legion hall. Supervisors also voted to advertise a budget for 2018, noting that they could reopen and modify it at their first meeting in January. The budget is balanced and has no real estate tax.
Also at the meeting, Locust Grove Road resident Jerry Hardy, whose target shooting has drawn complaints from neighbors, defended his actions. Hardy said he has been engaged in target shooting for 33 years and he is only now getting complaints.
“It is a little more now because I’m proving a point – you can’t tell me what I can and cannot do, legally,” Hardy said.
Supervisor Kevin S. McKain said shots had been fired across a hiking trail in the area on Oct. 28; Hardy said he had not fired across the trail. McKain said if that is the case, it means two people are firing guns in the area.