Category Archives: Zoning

Judge says no to dogs

Walbridge Road dog lover Faith Kilburn, who has 21 Shih Tzu dogs in her home, lost her appeal of a town order requiring her to get rid of nearly all of them, according to a story in today’s Hartford Courant.

Kilburn has 20 days to appeal — which she’ll no doubt do — and then the town will start fining her for violating zoning laws. She’d have to pay $43 a day for the first five days, $103 a day for the next 10 days and $192 a day thereafter, the story said.

Now I know that Kilburn has her supporters, including many neighbors, but I stand firmly with the town in its stance that the law must be obeyed. It is quite reasonable to prohibit people in our town from having more than a few pets because we are fairly urban and there’s no room for hordes of animals. Plus, we all know most people with an excess of animals in a suburban setting are kooks.

All Kilburn has to do to keep her dogs is move somewhere they are allowed. It’s simple, really, but she refuses to face the dictates of the law.



Filed under dogs, Kilburn, News, Town government, West Hartford, Zoning

Pawn shop has no place in West Hartford

The Hartford Advocate has a sickeningly sympathetic story today about Seth Boynick, a commercial real estate broker whose application for a pawn shop on Park Road got unanimously rejected by town councilors last month.


Filed under Hartford Advocate, Park Road, pawn shop, Seth Boynick, West Hartford economy, Zoning

“I’m the zookeeper,” says West Hartford zealot

AJ Gutman’s Steele Road chalet has become an animal sanctuary, according to a fawning, ridiculous story in today’s Hartford Courant.

Gutma’s got 30 iguanas, “a turtle, two tortoises, several geckos and other lizards, some frogs, a few parrots, and a ‘genetically diverse’ dog named Tali, between 50 and 60 animals in all. She doesn’t keep a precise count.” the story reported.

Clearly, the piece was written because Gutman is trying to get $15,000 annually in donations to keep her menagerie fed and content in her 9-room home on a quiet residential street.

I haven’t looked up the relevant statute, but can it be possible that you can’t have two dozen little dogs in your home but you can have the Bronx Zoo? I hope not.

There’s a place in the world for kind-hearted souls like Mrs. Gutman. But it’s not in the middle of densely populated West Hartford. It’s out in the country, where animals in this quantity belong. We can’t have people operating private zoos in their homes like this or there’s no point to regulating what owners do at all.

I trust that a zoning enforcement officer will be knocking on Mrs. Gutman’s door tomorrow morning.


Filed under Hartford Courant, iguanas, News, pets, Public safety, reptiles, West Hartford, Zoning, zoning enforcement officer

Justice has gone to the dogs

The West Hartford woman with 22 little Shih Tzus at home — illegally — still has them despite an order to move ’em out. The Hartford Courant finally bothered to update us today. (It is just terrible at follow-up stories, by the way.)

The woman’s appealing the town’s ruling in court and a judge is letting the dogs stay pending a decision – a ruling that may not come until the end of the summer. Then, of course, she may be able to appeal that judgment, giving the dogs yet more time to stay illegally.

When it’s all done,the dogs will likely be dead.

It’s a great legal system we have that chugs along in slow motion while people go right on ignoring the plain language of reasonable laws.


Filed under News, Town government, Zoning