Ruling overturned on Manor Rd. snake farm

November 11, 1998|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,SUN STAFF

A Glen Arm man cannot maintain a snake breeding facility on his five-acre property on Manor Road, the Baltimore County Board of Appeals said yesterday.

Siding with neighbors who opposed the facility, the board said Peter Kahl's snakes are not livestock and his operation cannot qualify as a farm.

The ruling overturned the 1997 decision by the county zoning commissioner who found no difference between snakes and pigs under the county's zoning law.

Kahl, who has been fascinated by snakes since he was 8, had received county permission to build a 50-by-100-foot heated structure in which to keep hundreds of snakes. Kahl argued that his $160,000 building was no more than a barn used to raise livestock.

But residents in the community contended that the structure threatened their property values.

In October 1997, Zoning Commissioner Lawrence Schmidt ruled in favor of Kahl, who has earned his living raising snakes for the last 10 years.

Neighbors appealed to the Board of Appeals. Kahl may appeal to the Circuit Court.

Pub Date: 11/11/98

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