When is a fence not a fence? North Hudson board ponders the questionA conditional use permit – for a fence which turned out not to be a fence and therefore didn’t require a variance to construct – was a topic of semantics and discussion at the North Hudson Village Board of Trustees’ regular meeting last Tuesday.
By: Jon Echternacht, Hudson Star-Observer
A conditional use permit – for a fence which turned out not to be a fence and therefore didn’t require a variance to construct – was a topic of semantics and discussion at the North Hudson Village Board of Trustees’ regular meeting last Tuesday.
Verizon Wireless filed for a variance in advance of a board decision to build a brick building to house equipment and a generator to service a wireless communications antenna on top of the water tower at 750 Summit Lane N.
Verizon Wireless included landscaping with 10-foot evergreens to improve the area around the equipment building. Through discussions in the Plan Commission, an agreement to erect a 16-foot-long, 8-foot-high fence with evergreens on both sides was reached to beautify the project and placate residents in the immediate area.
Village President Larry Larsen brought up the point that a fence is constructed to “keep something in or keep something out,” and the proposed fence at the water tower did neither.
Larsen suggested the proposed structure is only 16 feet long therefore not a fence but a “sound abatement shield” and thus is part of the building plan.
Trustee George Klein pointed out that the information included in Verizon’s request for a permit referred to the material as a fence and should be called “sound barrier device.”
Mike Miser, Plan Commission chair, said that the residents requested a “fence” that he called a “visual barrier” which complied with the nomenclature wishes of a Verizon representative.
So as the fence became a sound abatement shield, then a sound barrier device and finally a visual barrier, the board determined there was no need for a variance request, and Verizon could continue with its plans.
President Larry Larsen said Verizon pays rent to the water utility which in turn is applied to water rates.
In other action at the Jan. 6 meeting, the board: