The members of the Northland Community Council's development committee voted unanimously last week against allowing a Clinton Estates man to complete a privacy fence so people will stop pestering his pit bull.
On a split vote of 8-7, committee members also voted to recommend rejection of a request on behalf of Loan Max for a plan that would have allowed roof signs on the north, west and south sides of a building at 5720 Cleveland Ave. in front of the Columbus Square Shopping Center.
Michael Tiano of Mathias Drive told committee members he has observed people, especially children on their way to school, poking sticks at his dog, Buddy, and throwing stones at him through the existing chain link fence.
Tiano said work on the new fence, made of cedar, was started by a friend-of-a-friend contractor who hadn't obtained the necessary permit. The new fence, which has not progressed since it was started in July, is just under 6 feet tall.
"A privacy fence, it would be good for me, good for my dog, good for the neighborhood," Tiano said. "It means a lot to me as far as the privacy we want to accomplish.
"Buddy needs a fence. He does."
Tiano added that he has offered to cut a corner of the fence at a 45-degree angle to improve the safety for his neighbor to the north when pulling out of the driveway.
That neighbor, who had indicated he would attend last week's development committee session and speak on his behalf, Tiano said, has no objections, nor do any of the rest of the people living nearby.
"I've gone door to door ... and I've gotten no one who says, 'No way, I don't want this,' " Tiano said.
And that's what tripped him up with the committee members, according to Chairman Dave Paul.
In fact, the neighbor to the north who was supposed to have spoken in favor of Tiano's request objects to it, Paul said.
Just after the meeting started, Northland Community Council Secretary Brandon L. Boos, who knows that resident, handed Paul a letter from that individual in which he expressed concerns about the privacy fence creating a safety issue for him.
Paul said he failed to review the letter prior to hearing from Tiano and was unable to ask the aggrieved dog owner for his response to its contents.
Mike Davis of Kessler Sign Co. appeared on behalf of Loan Max.
"They need visibility," he told committee members on behalf of his client.
Not that much visibility, they decided.
"Your third one, to me, is overkill," said Minerva Park Mayor Lynn Eisentrout, a member of the advisory panel.
"The committee understood the application for the sign on the south elevation, but felt the sign on the north side was not required," Paul said.