Sullivan County Democrat
O n l i n e  E d i t i o n National Award-winning, Family-run Newspaper
  NEWS ARCHIVES Established 1891 Callicoon, New York  
home  |  archives
SPCA Structures Unauthorized

By Jeanne Sager
ROCK HILL — July 10, 2007 — A year ago it was the Thompson Town Board. Now the SPCA is at odds with the town’s building department.
Thompson Deputy Code Enforcement Officer and Fire Inspector Logan Ottino said the non-profit shelter in Rock Hill is expected in court later this month to address structures that have sprung up around the main headquarters over the years.
According to Ottino, the SPCA never sought permission from the Town of Thompson Building Department, and no permits were ever issued.
One was an addition built onto the shelter, Ottino said, a space that is now called “the cat room.”
The other two are essentially various kennels grouped together with a roof and fences around them.
Because they’re roofed and enclosed, Ottino said they’re structures under Thompson building code.
One doesn’t even meet Thompson setback requirements, she said. It was built too close to Rock Hill Drive.
The shelter has often made the news – from squabbles with the county to a squabble with the Thompson Board last year that ended in the board canceling its contract with the SPCA.
Complaints have been made to the building department, Ottino said, usually regarding the aesthetics of the property.
It usually comes down to overflowing garbage, she noted.
But every time a call comes in, Ottino said they pull out the file and review the property.
This time they checked and saw the existing buildings didn’t match with any prior authorizations.
The SPCA was given two choices: apply to the Thompson Planning Board for permission to keep the structures and the Thompson Zoning Board for a variance for the setback or go to court.
“They said they couldn’t afford to go to the planning board,” Ottino said.
So she served them with a notice of violation and a court date.
Come July 23, the SPCA will have to make an appearance in Town Court.
In the meantime, Ottino has issued an order for the SPCA to fix its crematory.
Animals euthanized cannot be disposed of on site, she said, because it’s in such bad shape.
“Some of the sides were coming apart,” she explained. “If there were a fire in it, you’d be able to see the fire from the outside.
“It’s old and rusted,” she said.

top of page  |  home  |  archives