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City begins daily $25 fine for homeowners who built fence

Nikkole Riojas and Anthony Ozmaro say they plan to appeal to avoid a daily $25 fine.

A zoning administrator for Kalamazoo said starting Saturday, July 7, 2018, a Kalamazoo Couple who built a fence in their front yard in 2017 will be fined $25 per day because the fence has not been modified to comply with city regulations.

The 6-foot fence is too tall according to city laws for front yard fences.

Anthony Ozmaro and Nikkole Riojas told Newschannel 3 in 2017 they built the fence on the front yard of their Florence Street home, in part, because of the damage caused by mobile drug and alcohol parties, known as X-Trains.

Riojas said she has recently filed a claim of appeal with hopes of getting the city to change its mind on the height of the fence and avoid the fine.

"We've had several people in this neighborhood say they like how it makes the neighborhood look," she said.

Kalamazoo Zoning Administrator Peter Eldridge provided the following statement to Newschannel 3 regarding the fine:

I have inquired with our City Attorney’s Office to confirm if an appeal was actually filed within the 21 day window after the decision by Judge Hemingway on June 4th. The Compliance Order signed by Judge Hemingway does go into effect starting tomorrow at $25 per day if the fence has not been removed or modified to comply with the Zoning Ordinance requirements. If an appeal has been filed then the Compliance Order and accumulating fines would be addressed at the time of the appeals hearing. Additionally, If an appeal has been filed the City of Kalamazoo will let the court process conclude before taking any further action regarding the fence on Florence Street.
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