Clarifications, wording, possible additions will be made to the Warsaw’s zoning ordinance on vision/fences and accessory structures, before being returned to Warsaw Plan Commission in April.
That was the decision at Monday evening’s Warsaw Plan Commission meeting. The ordinance was the only topic of business for the evening. The discussion among the commission members present lasted approximately one hour.
The amended ordinance Article 3.5, was approved by the plan commission last year and taken before Warsaw Common Council in December. The council voted against the ordinance 4-3 requesting the plan commission revisit the ordinance.
Jeremy Skinner, city planner, noted the issue by council members dealt with the prohibiting of chain link fences in the front yard.
Jeff Grose and Mike Klondaris, plan commission members and councilmen, reviewed the discussion they recalled by the council.
It was noted numerous times that chain link fence would be allowed in the back and side yards, but only decorative fences in the front yard. Individuals would be allowed to go before the board of zoning to request an exception. “We’re not saying you can’t use in the front yard, and not saying you can’t have a fence,” said Skinner.
Skinner stated the prohibiting of chain link fence in the front is more of an aesthetic value than security.
Removal of reference to chain link fences was also suggested. Others questioned if it isn’t a problem why include it. A proactive vs. a reactive stance was noted.
Rick Keevan, vice president of the commission, was adamant the wording remain. “People voting against it (the ordinance) don’t have an issue, but I do,” he stated he referred to having an eccentric moving into the neighborhood and “after the fact regulating is poor choice. You don’t let it become an issue.”
Jeff Beeler, public works representative on the commission, made a point not previously mentioned. He explained a fence in the front yard to a public employee is uninviting. “You’re wondering if they are trying to keep me out or that you don’t want go in there because something is out there. You don’t feel safe crossing that boundary … you feel vulnerable. You don’t know why (the fence) is there.” Beeler noted he is against all fences in front. “It’s saying stay away from me.”
Craig Nayrocker and City Councilman Jerry Frush were asked their perception of that meeting. Nayrocker noted cost of decorative fences over chain link was mentioned and he felt there were other matters more prominent that evening. Frush commented he has since looked around at properties and most do not have or want a fence in the front yard. He added he has since changed his mind and would probably vote in favor of it.
“The financing thing is a red herring,” stated Keeven. “I don’t think cost is the real issue.”
Skinner will be looking at ways to change the wording regarding chain link fences, adding board spacing guidelines for picket fences if not noted in another area of the ordinance and a set back for all fences for utility purposes.
The ordinance will be reviewed in April with a public hearing potentially set for the May meeting.