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Griswold snake breeder going under resid

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Posted by: EricWI at Sun Jul 8 08:14:16 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by EricWI ]  
   

Griswold, Conn. — Griswold snake breeder going under residents' scrutiny

Griswold zoning officials will hear residents’ opinions about a Jewett City man’s snake breeding business Monday before deciding whether to permit it.

Randy LaPorte, who runs his snake breeding business, East Coast Reptile Exchange, out of his East Main Street home, is seeking a home-business permit from the Planning and Zoning Commission.

A phone message left for LaPorte on Friday was not immediately returned.

Town Planner Carl Fontneau said it’s the first time in his six years as town planner that a home-business permit has gone to a hearing.

The hearing came amid an outcry from neighbors about the 300 snakes — and the rats to feed them — that LaPorte has at his house.

“You have to consider, you’re in a neighborhood. If (the snakes or rats) get out, it’s not Ohio where it’s miles to your next neighbor,” neighbor Carol Mauro said.

The commission, in making its decision, will ask the same questions it asks of all home-business permit applicants, including day cares, doctors and lawyers: whether it is a customary home business and whether it complies with zoning regulations.

“The same questions apply, but those qualify as usual home occupations. The question here is, ‘does this fit in?’ ” Fontneau said.

LaPorte has been in the snake business for at least seven years.

He told a Massachusetts newspaper in 2010, while attending the state’s first reptile expo, that a snake he had with him was the product of a five-year breeding program.

His business came under scrutiny in March, after a complaint was filed anonymously about the snakes and rats being kept in poor conditions.

The snakes were kept in bins in the basement and were “clean and organized,” Uncas Health District Sanitarian Albert Gosselin wrote after a March 30 inspection. While Gosselin recommended some changes — food storage for the rats and increased ventilation — he did not recommend removing the animals.

The building department issued a cease-and-desist order against LaPorte in April to get him to stop selling the snakes without a home-business permit.
www.norwichbulletin.com/news/x1197883628/Griswold-snake-breeder-going-under-residents-scrutiny#axzz202CFLjXc


   

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