Tehachapi Folks Appealing Susan Marlowe’s CUP

Not surprising – many Tehachapi folks do NOT want a CUP issued to Susan Marlowe and/or animal hoarder, Kimi Peck. Here is a story in regards to this issue…

Organizations protest county approval of kennel Organizations protest county approval of kennel By: Tina Forde, Reporter, Tehachapi News Posted by editor Monday, November 1, 2010 – 11:28 Viewed 370 times 2 comments larger view Two organizations and four neighbors are appealing the Kern County Planning Commission’s approval of a Conditional Use Permit (CUP) for a kennel at the home belonging to Susan Marlowe on Bear Valley Road. One of the conditions of the CUP is that no more than 25 animals (“dogs, cats, rabbits and all fur-bearing animals) may be kept on the property. The property has been home to several hundred dogs in recent years. One of the residents was Kimi Peck, who gave up 152 of her dogs to the Kern County Animal Control in July when Marlowe was in the process of evicting her. Peck is no longer living on the property. In strongly worded letters, the organizations Smart Growth-Tehachapi Valleys, the Cummings Valley Protective Association and neighbors at three residences on Bear Valley Road had urged county planners to deny the permit. They subsequently have appealed the Planning Commission’s Aug. 12 approval of the CUP and are asking the Kern County Board of Supervisors to override the decision. The matter was scheduled to come before the supervisors Oct. 12 but Marlowe cited scheduling conflicts that prevented her from appearing. The appeal was continued to the Nov. 9 supervisor meeting. Marlowe, who is an accountant located in Los Angeles, said she plans to appear at the Nov. 9 hearing. She followed through with the CUP application even though she may not use it. “There is nobody living there and I don’t have any plans for it,” Marlowe said. She said the CUP would give her more options as to what she can do with the property. Conditions In granting the permit, the county planning staff report stated that under California Environmental Quality Act, “there is no possibility that the activity in question may have a significant effect on the environment,” and that no CEQA evaluation was necessary. In addition to the limit of 25 dogs, cats and fur-bearing animals, the county required that all necessary permits and licenses be obtained; that dog pens and cages be maintained in a clean condition and cleaned daily; that adoptions not be conducted on the site; that animals not be boarded there; that “the applicant’s or animal caregiver’s website shall be modified to be consistent with the terms of this permit;” that current license and rabies vaccination be maintained for all dogs; that all animals be properly cared for and not left unattended for “periods greater than 18 hours;” and that waste be disposed of off site a minimum of once per week. Planners also stated, “the proposed use is consistent with the goals and policies of the Kern County General Plan or Specific Plan.” In granting approval, the staff also concluded that approval of the request “is consistent with the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and consistent with the goals and policies of the North Cummings Valley Specific Plan…” The county granted the permit for a temporary period of two years from the date of approval “to allow the applicant to demonstrate compliance with county departments.” Protests Peck, the most recent tenant, kept her dogs in a 4,000-square-foot metal building several hundred feet from the main house on the 20-acre property. Objections to the CUP focus on barking noise, smell and zoning non-compliance that would discourage visitors from the wine grape-growing region. “The use of this property should remain agricultural,” wrote Janice Hagen Armstrong, president of Smart Growth-Tehachapi Valleys. JoAnne Huckins, president of the Cummings Valley Protective Association, was doubtful the conditions laid out by the county would do the job. “Any conditions attached to the CUP would likely be meaningless in that County Code Compliance apparently does not have the ability (especially with recent staff cuts) to enforce compliance with conditions,” she wrote in a July 25 letter to the county prior to the approval. Neighbors Mac and Rozelva Ruddle wrote that the dogs that have been there create issues that “are invading on our ability and right to the quiet enjoyment of our property and thus, our lives. We retired up here for a reason, to enjoy the optical and audible serene views of the natural environment. Allowing a kennel would violate our continued expectations and enjoyment of our property.” Granting a CUP to the property owner, according to a website that tracks the activities of Marlowe and Peck, “is a dangerous proposition.” “The whole thing is a train wreck,” said Chuck Boles of the Cummings Valley Protective Association. “Zoning is our primary concern, mistreatment of animals and flaunting of laws.” It’s OK Peck says she has 18 dogs now. “My life is so different,” said Peck, who would not reveal her location. “I have a life. I was overwhelmed. “It took a while to adjust. Now I

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