Gardiner imposes moratorium on new dog kennels

At its February 2 meeting, the Gardiner Town Board voted unanimously to enact a six-month moratorium on the processing and approval of permits for dog kennels and breeding facilities. Discussion of how to update the language in the town’s zoning code regulating such businesses is scheduled to get underway at the board’s February 9 meeting.

The issue came to the fore in 2020, when Springtown Farmland, LLC submitted an application to open a kennel on the site of a former horse farm at 163 Denniston Road, arousing the concern of neighbors. Upon investigation by Planning Board member Josh Verleun, it quickly became apparent that the intent was for the site to house a puppy mill. The application was subsequently withdrawn, but municipal officials reviewing the pertinent section of the town code, sections 80-15 to 80-24, found the language weak and lacking in specific requirements. Verleun reached out the Buffalo Municipal Law Clinic, which specializes in animal-related legislation, for advice on how to strengthen Gardiner’s law.

Some members of the town board have already raised the possibility of making such businesses outright illegal. “Why don’t we just ban kennels and breeding facilities from the Town of Gardiner?” asked councilman Warren Wiegand. “We don’t really want them.” “Anecdotally, I’ve only heard nightmare stories,” concurred councilman Franco Carucci.

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