Board approves kennel after Woodstock couple, neighbors compromise Agreement includes number of Dalmatians, way to prevent barking

November 20, 1998|By Edward Lee | Edward Lee,SUN STAFF

The Howard County Board of Appeals unanimously approved last night a Woodstock couple's request for a kennel for their Dalmatians.

The approval came after the couple and neighbors reached an agreement Wednesday about reducing the number of dogs to be kept at the kennel and employing measures to keep them from barking at night.

The board voted 4-0 to grant the special exception to Stephen D. and Beth E. Winick after the Winicks and neighbors announced they had added two conditions to the original proposal to pacify residents' concerns.

"We have worked out certain compromises to protect against incidents [that occurred] in the past," said F. Gregory Cole, president of the architectural review committee for the Woodstock Ridge Estates community and a spokesman for about a dozen homeowners. "As long as the compromises are worked into the special exception, we withdraw our opposition."

Robert B. Williams, who represents the Winicks, acknowledged that some hurt feelings remain that have to be soothed.

"All parties hope that this experience will help the community solve their differences," Williams said.

When the Planning Board endorsed the proposed kennel Nov. 4, board members prohibited using the kennel as a commercial establishment and ordered the dogs kept indoors between 6 p.m. and 9 a.m.

Since then, Williams and Cole hammered out a compromise -- reducing the number of dogs from 20 to 12 and outfitting each dog with a collar that secretes an odor designed to discourage barking.

The ruling legalizes an existing kennel on a 10.4-acre parcel owned by the Winicks in the 10300 block of Cavey Lane. The owners have operated Save the Dalmatians kennel since 1986, a year after they bought their house.

Although neighbors said they tolerated the kennel at first, the relationship soured when residents complaining about loud barking and attacks on other pets by the Dalmatians.

One homeowner accused the couple's son of urging one of the Dalmatians to "go get 'em" as she rode on her horse.

Last year, the Howard County Animal Control Division fined Beth Winick $250 because the kennel had been issued nine citations.

Pub Date: 11/20/98

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