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Zoning appeals panel OKs expansion plans of kennel in Hampstead neighborhood Board puts conditions on approval, including noise-reducing insulation


Despite concerns about barking dogs, the county Board of Zoning Appeals has approved the expansion of a Hampstead kennel, provided its owner installs noise-reducing insulation and makes other improvements.

The three-member board granted the request of Allysia A. Cirka, owner of Sundowner Country Kennels in the 2800 block of Hampstead-Mexico Road, in a decision announced last week. The board held a public hearing on Oct. 28.

Cirka asked the board to modify a conditional use for a 50-run dog kennel and grooming facility. She wanted to increase the number of dog runs to 75 and add a boarding facility for 25 cats with an attached caretaker apartment.

The property is zoned for agricultural use.

Apartment and cats

The board did not address the addition of the caretaker apartment or the cat facility, but found that the zoning ordinance permits living quarters for employees on the premises as an accessory use.

The board determined that accessory uses are authorized by the zoning administrator and cat facilities are regulated by the county's humane society.

George Beisser, Carroll's zoning administrator, said he would research the regulations on accessory use at kennels if the matter comes before him.

Beisser said large animals, such as horses, require caretakers and accessory use has been permitted for stables. He said he was unaware if accessory use has been applied to kennels.

A cat facility has never been regulated by zoning ordinances, Beisser said.

He agreed that humane society officials would be concerned about cleanliness and treatment, but noise concerns would not apply.

Cirka, who recently purchased the kennel, said she was pleased with the board's decision.

"I wanted to move to Hampstead to live in a smaller, closer community," she said. "I don't want to rock the boat. I want to keep my neighbors happy."

Plans for 75 dogs, 25 cats

Cirka's expansion plans would be to build a kennel for 50 dogs and refurbish the existing structure for 25 dogs and the cats.

She said dogs would be kept inside during the evening, and no breeding would occur.

Wayne R. Leppo, who lives next to the kennel, opposed the expansion at the October hearing, noting noise from barking dogs.

The board acknowledged Leppo's concerns that noise might increase if more dogs were on the property.

Cirka contended that barking problems stemmed from the previous owner's dog-breeding service.

She said materials will be used in the new construction and renovation to lessen noise.

The conditions

The board granted its approval, subject to these conditions: A maximum of 75 dogs is permitted and noise-reducing insulation must be installed on the interior walls of the old and new kennels.

Covers must be placed over all outside runs and 4-feet-high panels are to be installed inside each kennel to prevent the dogs from seeing each other.

For added screening and noise reduction, Cirka must plant 40 trees at least 3 feet tall.

Pub Date: 12/06/98

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