SUMMERVILLE -- Old Fort Estates, refuge of chickens, has apparently gone to the dogs.
Cliff Loos, who lives in the Oakbrook-area neighborhood, has asked Dorchester County Council for "some kind of controls" to limit the number of dogs that people can keep. Several residents complained after other residents brought home hunting dogs that had been housed at their rural hunt clubs.
He said two nearby neighbors kept more than 13 dogs, plus puppies.
"The dogs' noise and their odors carry across property lines," he said.
The county has no real rules about keeping dogs on properties big enough to hold them and a long rural tradition of hunting dogs. Even in suburban subdivisions, it's not unusual to hear a few hounds howl at night when a deer scampers by. Old Fort Estates is one of the last back-by-itself neighborhoods near Summerville, the place where a 12-year-old's desire last summer to keep his six pet hens spurred a rewrite of county zoning laws to allow fowl as pets.
The larger-lot, country neighborhood is no stranger to dogs. In 2000, Loos and another neighbor went to court over a third neighbor who was keeping 28 of them, he told council.
He said he has several hours of video and audio of the dogs causing the current problem. Officers have been out to the neighborhood about the problem, but can only do so much.
So the ponds-and-pens countryside community of Old Fort Estates and now County Council are back on the horns of a critters-versus-homeowners dilemma. Council moved Loos' request to its Planning Committee for consideration.
Reach Bo Petersen at 937-5744 or follow him on Twitter at @bopete.