MOUNT VERNON — The city’s Board of Zoning Appeals Wednesday rejected the application of a Hamtramck Street property owner for a variance to allow a six-foot privacy fence around part of his property.

“I don’t like six-foot fences you can’t see around.”

Third Ward Council Representative Nancy Vail

Travis Wheeler explained he wanted to erect a privacy fence along the back of his property at 300 E. Hamtramck and along the Park Street side of the property a foot from the sidewalk on that side. He said he wanted the fence to provide safety for his two-year-old daughter and his Siberian husky, “which can easily top a three-foot fence.” He rejected the idea of making it a chain-link fence on that side because he said they wanted more separation from Park Street.

The city Zoning Code treats the side of a corner lot like the front line, limiting fence height to three feet, citing the need for sight lines up the streets from the intersection.

Along the side street a fence would normally be set back 20 feet from the property line and be no higher than three feet, so he offered to stop the fence 10 feet from the walk and not extend towards the front of the property past the back of the house.

Board members Susie Simpson and Jim Sulzer voted for granting a variance for the reduced area of privacy fencing, but Chair Michael Percy and member Don Carr voted no, although they indicted they would have been more willing to approved a chain link fence.

No neighbors objected to the idea of the privacy fence. The only person to testify against it was Third Ward Council Representative Nancy Vail, who said he was concerned about allowing high board fences and turning homes into isolated compounds.

“I don’t like six-foot fences you can’t see around.”


Chuck Martin: 740-397-5333 or and on Twitter, @mountvernonnews



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