Mayfield man seeks to keep tigers

MAYFIELD-A Mayfield man’s appeal to keep his tigers on his property will go to court in February, according to Mayfield Town Attorney Carmel Greco.

Steve Salton, who operates Natasha’s Helping Hand, will go before the New York State Appellate Court to appeal a decision forcing him to move his large cats, according to Greco.

Salton previously was ordered to have all of his animals moved off his property by June 1.

The order also said Salton must stop operating what the order refers to as Salton’s “home occupation” at his property.

Salton has claimed Natasha’s Helping Hand is not a business. He said he exhibits his animals by appointment.

According to Greco, the appeal is pending in court. The order forcing Salton to remove his animals has been stayed.

“We can’t do anything until the appellate division has decided the case,” Greco said.

Salton is appealing a recent court ruling that affirmed the town Zoning Board of Appeals’ decision that Salton is running a home occupation on his property and needs town Planning Board approval.

Salton had three tigers and two leopards at his property on Route 30 when Stewart informed him he needed Planning Board approval to operate a home occupation in a residential zone.

The zoning board in October 2011 affirmed Stewart’s determination the animal display constituted a business, but Salton filed an Article 78 petition to challenge that decision instead of applying to the Planning Board.

Salton’s notice of appeal, filed in state Supreme Court in Johnstown on Jan. 10 by Salton’s representative, Attorney Christian J. Soller, said state Supreme Court Justice Richard T. Aulisi “erred” by failing to overturn the Zoning Board of Appeals’ determination.

Calls to Salton for comment for this story were not returned.

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