"A public hearing tonight in Le Roy could decide the outcome of a long-standing feud involving a dog kennel on Warsaw Road.
“There is kind of two issues coming into play here,” said Town Supervisor Stephen Barbeau. “Having more than four dogs, or what is sometimes referred to as a kennel, and having any dogs — whether it is four or more than four — barking.”
Barbeau said the town code allows for up to four dogs on the property in the town outside the village. Anything beyond that requires a special use permit. There is also a noise ordinance covering barking dogs — even if there is only one — that states a dog cannot bark for more than 15 minutes at a time.
The two neighbors engaged in the disagreement are the Hulls and Freemans.
The Hulls own a kennel, having received a special use permit in October 2008 to have more than the allotted four dogs. The town supervisor said there were no conditions put on the special use permit that the town can find.
“In July 2009, March 2010, August 2015 and October 2016 I have in the record there are actual formal complaints made,” Barbeau said, adding he didn’t know by whom.
Denise Hull said the compliant which went to the board was about dogs barking — an issue which neighbor Jeff Freeman confirmed, adding the issue has always been about the dogs barking.
With the last compliant being filed in January 2017, a public hearing was held by the town board. With both parties present, the town decided to see if they could come to a working agreement on how to resolve the issue.
The town asked for a proposal to be put into place for at least six months. After that, another decision would be made if necessary.
The agreement drafted stipulated the Hulls give up control eight hours of the day, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., of their property any day Yvonne Freeman’s car was in the driveway — she works late nights on the third shift.
The agreement allowed a midday break for the dogs as an exception, where they would be out for 15 to 20 minutes. In exchange, the Freemans were not to harass the Hulls during the time the dogs were allowed to be outside nor go before the town board during those six months.
“Apparently that has not worked, and the complainant has made another compliant in regards to pretty much, barking dogs,” Barbeau said.
Since the agreement has been signed, the Hulls said they have upgraded the fence around their yard, so the dogs can’t crawl under or jump over it and installed voice activated cameras to record the dogs whenever they started to bark.
Denise Hull said the Freemans breached the contract when they contacted them two times within a month that the dogs were out during their midday break.
“The compliant wasn’t the dogs were barking,” she said. “The compliant was that they were out.
“Then we got at least four texts in the evening after 9 p.m. saying, ‘It’s after 9 p.m., the laws says the dogs need to be in at 9 p.m. We’re taping. We’re calling the cops.’
“Well, after 4:30 p.m. and before 8:30 a.m. is our time to have (the dogs) out,” Denise Hull continued. “I looked at the laws for Le Roy — I can’t find anything in the law that says the dogs have to be in at any particular time or can’t be out at any particular time. Just they can’t bark for more than 15 minutes at a time.”
The Hulls said the last time the Freemans breached the contract when Jeff Freeman went before the town board in June to talk about the situation. Freeman said the contract doesn’t supersede the laws of the town, adding “rules are rules.”
“The fence doesn’t seem to help,” he said. “They have an (bark control device) to keep the dog the dogs from barking, but it doesn’t seem to stop them.”
He added that it was mostly one dog which barks and gets the other dogs to start barking.
The public hearing will be 7 p.m. tonight at the town hall. The town board will discuss if it will continue with the special use permit as it is, if the town will modify the special use permit in any manner, or if it will revoke the special use permit. Barbeau said it is more than likely the town board will be acting on a decision during that meeting"