Zoning board denies dog kennel facing opponents in Bartholomew County

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UPDATE

A Bartholomew County zoning board voted down an application for a dog breeding kennel on Monday night, 24-Hour News 8’s Megan Sanctorum reports. The vote was 4-1.PREVIOUS

HOPE, Ind. (WISH) — A Bartholomew County couple is trying to open a dog breeding kennel, but some of the neighbors are opposing the plan.

Aaron and Lena Oberholtzer are seeking approval from the county’s zoning board in a public meeting at 7 p.m. Monday. The couple said before the meeting that the kennel would not be open to the public.

Chad Miller lives down the road from the proposed site in rural Hope.

“I think it will have a direct and significant impact on not only my property values, but the health and safety of my family,” Miller said.

Miller said he is worried the kennel will come with unwanted noise, odors and contamination.

According to a zoning board report, waste from the kennel must be placed in a waste container and removed from the site by a trash removal service. The report stated that the Oberholtzers cannot dispose of waste in adjacent fields.

The board said the couple will build the kennel at a specified distance from the property lines.

Aaron Oberholtzer didn’t return our calls, but he told the Columbus Republic newspaper that “everybody had a wrong idea about what we wanted to do.”

“Although we are applying to have up to 100 animals, we probably won’t have that many dogs,” Oberholtzer said.

About 500 people signed an online petition opposing the kennel, calling it a “puppy mill.”

The zoning board report stated that the kennel would include outdoor dog runs and exercise areas, along a row of trees just north of the building.

Oberholtzer told the The Republic he plans to distinctly follow all regulations.

“It’s definitely going to disrupt our lives,” Miller said.

Jane Irwin of the Bartholomew County Humane Society said she is also opposed to the plan and concerned about the welfare of the animals.

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