JUDGE

Local Zoning Can't Stop Nonprofit ‘Kennel': Appeals Court

Commonwealth Court says a western Pennsylvania township's zoning ordinance can't keep a couple from running a nonprofit rescue kennel for oversized dogs in their home.

Officials in New Sewickley Township had argued Gentle Ben's Giant Breed Dog Rescue was illegal because zoning in the area bans commercial kennels. After neighbors complained about barking dogs and property values, among other issues, Richard and Noreen Kohl applied for a zoning variance in 2012, which was then denied.

The couple argued they don't operate for profit and don't have outside kennel facilities. Instead, they keep the dogs in their home and exercise them in a fenced yard that's about an acre.

The township's zoning board denied he variance, but a Beaver County judge reversed that prompting the neighbors to appeal. Commonwealth Court denied their appeal on Wednesday.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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