Planning Commission recommends variance

The New Prague Planning Commission unanimously recommended for approval a variance in the height of a fence at its Wednesday, June 26, meeting.

Planning Director Ken Ondich explained the fence is for Tim and Maureen Briggs, whose house is at the corner of First Street SE and Central Avenue S. They would like the fence to be six feet tall, two feet taller than the zoning ordinance allows for. They would also like the fence to be right next to the sidewalk, whereas the ordinance does not allow a fence to be located less than five feet from a property line abutting a road right of way. The couple wants the variance for the height and placement for security and noise reasons. The fence would be constructed of brick columns and a white lattice topped fence between the columns. It would enclose the back portion of the yard.

If the ordinance was followed the six-foot fence would be 30 feet from the property line. Ondich said that would not be practical. He noted the fence would not be detrimental to the neighborhood. City staff had one concern about the removal of snow from the sidewalk without it ending up in the street. Staff did recommend approval for the variance, which did not require a public hearing.

Commissioner Jay Nuhring asked what the fence would be made of and what would be done to clean up the fence if someone threw something at it. Tim Briggs responded the fence would be made of vinyl and they would deal with clean up of the fence as it comes. He added the fence and columns would stay within the color scheme of the house.

Nuhring said a bright white fence would draw attention to itself. Maureen Briggs replied they considered other colors, but they didn’t blend well with the house.

Tim Briggs explained for snow removal, they would pile the snow near the front part of the yard.

The New Prague City Council approved the variance at its Monday, July 1, meeting.