Washington Evening Journal
111 North Marion Avenue
Washington, IA 52353
Fairfield council updates fence ordinance
FAIRFIELD — The Fairfield City Council approved the third and final reading of an ordinance to update the city’s fence regulations.
Fairfield City Engineer and Public Works Director Melanie Carlson said the proposed ordinance had gone through rounds of changes, and that she even incorporated suggestions that residents made on the city’s Facebook page.
Most of the changes to the ordinance relate to fence aesthetics, and as long as non-compliant fences are in good repair, property owners will be given four years to make necessary changes to their fence to bring it into compliance. However, fences that are deemed not in good repair will be subject to the new regulations as soon as they are posted.
The ordinance lists the acceptable materials that fences can be made of, such as wrought iron, aluminum, treated lumber, cedar, redwood, PVC and welded wire. Fences for gardens should be at least 5 feet from a neighboring side or rear property boundary. Fences for gardens or animals are not allowed in front yards.
Fences visible from the outside must be an “earth tone” such as white, black, gray, tan or brown. Permanent fences must not be made from snow fencing, metal wire sold in rolls, or bright or fluorescent colors.
In other news, Fairfield Code Compliance Officer Weston McKee told the council that a business in town was still in violation of nuisance ordinances after the owner had been asked to clean up the property. McKee said that Four Seasons Auto Body, located at 700 W. Jefferson Ave., was out of compliance, and he recommended the council proceed with either a civil or criminal infraction.
In February, McKee reported to the council that the business had received three letters and multiple verbal notices from the city to clean the property. At that time, McKee reported that the business’s junkyard had overflowed into the neighboring property at 609 W. Jefferson, and that pallets, trailers, a broken tow truck and a scrap car chained to a tree were in the right-of-way. The business’s owner, Emer Carlson, and council members discussed ways for Carlson to abate the nuisances, and agreed that Carlson could hide the vehicles behind a fence. They asked him to have the fence up by May 1.
McKee said Monday that Four Seasons had turned in a fence permit, but it was rejected because it wasn’t filled out properly. McKee said that the business had not fulfilled its promise to have all of its materials behind a fence by May 1.
Council member Elizabeth Estey motioned for the city to move forward with either a civil or criminal infraction. The motion carried unanimously, with council members Estey, Tom Twohill, Paul Gandy, Doug Flournoy, Katy Anderson, Judy Ham and Martha Rasmussen voting in favor.
Lastly, the city approved a development agreement with Grow Fairfield Economic Development Association, which included a $200,000 loan for a housing development project.
Call Andy Hallman at 641-575-0135 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org