2007-03-01 / News

Shores group leader voices concern over dogs

By Dotti Farrington

At Monday's Town Council meeting, council President David Long asked Town Administrator Bruce Keiser to investigate complaints made during open forum about dogs in the Jamestown Shores.

Charlotte Zarlengo, president of the Shores Association, reported that town council member Barbara Szepatowski has rented a house, used also for shores association meetings, for fund-raising meetings for the animal shelter that Szepatowski and her associates are trying to locate somewhere on the island.

Szepatowski was absent from Monday's meeting because of illness, and other councilors did not know about the Shores location as part of her animal shelter efforts. Keiser said he was told the property would be used as a meetingplace for volunteers, who would bring pets while at the meetings there.

Zarlengo said Szepatowski has started a fence, raising fears among some Shores residents that she is duplicating the fencing of a nearby yard for frequent visits by multiple dogs. "We are concerned that it is a dog run, or a shelter use, or something of that line and we do not want another nuisance in the neighborhood," she said.

Zarlengo said she and others have concerns that the latest activity is an extension of town-sanctioned efforts to establish an animal shelter.

The town administrator assured Zarlengo that the town has no involvement in the clubhouse use.

Zarlengo said the neighborhood already has been disturbed by frequently barking dogs brought to a Riptide home in the past two years. Complaints to town officials have produced no relief, apparently because the activity does not constitute an overnight kennel that would be illegal there, she said. Neighbors believe the Riptide activity is a business operation, and thus a zoning violation.

Szepatowski told the Press on Tuesday, following the council meeting, that the fence is part of general landscaping.

She said she would have her own dog, and possibly one other sometimes, while at the Shores clubhouse, but never more than two dogs at a time. She said she would issue a full report within a week about use of the Shores building.

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