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Kalamazoo family facing fines for fence as police crackdown on summer X-Train

Kalamazoo family facing fines for fence as police crackdown on summer X-Train. (WWMT/File)

The X-Train is once again active in Kalamazoo and police are again ramping up patrols to crack down on the caravan of vehicles.

Police said the increase in patrols are really hit or miss because police are going after a moving target, but neighbors are running out of patience because they said the X-Train keeps passing by their homes.

Nikkole Riojas said, “The problem is with a lot of the lots, people pull up and have a pop-up party, like a pop-up tent.”

It is not the white picket fence Riojas dreamed about, but it's helped block some of the noise that often keeps her up at night. They may have to pay the city for the fence that helps keep their yard safe from the X-Train.

Nikkole Riojas said, “Music is loud, you're woke up, there's glass bottles, I mean it's a party, it's a club outside.”

The 6 feet tall fence on Florence Street has not de-railed what's known as the X-Train, a pop-up caravan of controversy that often involves drugs, alcohol and a rowdy crowd that drives, parks and parties around Kalamazoo neighborhoods.

Nikkole Riojas said, “We're out here to take care of our families and protect what we've worked really hard to obtain.”

The fence is a layer of protection for her property, family and sanity. The fence keeps all the trash and damage left in the wake of the X-Train off the family's front lawn.

Jerome Jamison said, “It's an ongoing thing, it really doesn't stop.”

In their fight for peace, the family is entangled in another battle with the city over the fence. It is too tall to meet Kalamazoo's zoning ordinance and Riojas faces a $25 a day fine if the barrier doesn't come down by July 6.

She said, “We are not removing it.”

With the X-Train still coming. Riojas started a non-profit organization to help fence in neighbors.

She said, “I know that every day we wake up and we have five kids who are happy to play in their yard and it's comfortable now.”

Kalamazoo's zoning administrator was not available for comment on Monday, but when he said in a 2017 interview about the fence that the city is dealing with the X-Train and the answer is not building a fortress.

The family plans to appeal the city's decision to try to keep the fence up.

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