Northland News

No barrier for Buddy

Panel recommends against fence to protect man's dog


Members of the Northland Community Council development committee last week once again rejected a Mathias Drive resident's request for a fence to keep people from being mean to his dog.

Committee members can't tell Michael Tiano where to build a six-foot privacy fence in order to avoid having to seek a variance, but they can tell him where they think he shouldn't be allowed to do so, Chairman Dave Paul said.

The last time Tiano came before the advisory panel in August, his fence proposal to protect Buddy, a pit bull, from being bothered was recommended for rejection unanimously.

After he returned last week with a revised plan to move the fence line closer to his home, the vote was 12-0 with one abstention to again reject the request, Paul said.

Because much of his property fronts on Maize Road, Tiano said he thought the circumstances were unique enough to warrant the privacy fence.

His next-door neighbor, William Nelson, disagreed.

"For us, it's a safety issue," he said at last week's meeting, noting that even the fence posts currently in place make it more difficult to see pedestrians on the sidewalk when he pulls out of his driveway.

When he and his wife bought their house 39 years ago, Nelson said the rules prohibited a fence. He said he's never put one up, and they have had dogs stay in the backyard without any difficulty.

"I just cannot agree to having that fence," Nelson added. "If we run over a little kid, our lives are shot for good."

"I think it's important for me to protect him and my family," Tiano said of his dog.

During the public discussion, development committee members suggested to Tiano that he could avoid having to seek a variance by bringing the fence in line with a shed on his property on the side that faces the Nelson home.

"He basically rejected consideration of that outright," Paul said.

Two other matters on last week's agenda received unanimous recommendations for approval, but not without considerable discussion.

The first was for 930 Freeway Drive in the Salem neighborhood, a 4,800-square-foot unit in a business park. Mark Taggart, representing YDT Sinclair Road LLC, appeared before the committee and said the rezoning would allow a minor automotive repair shop in the space, primarily to service the vehicles of other clients in the business park.

"It has no visibility to anywhere outside the park," Taggart said. "It's tucked in the middle of the park.

"We don't picture this as open to the public. It's such an amenity for our tenants."

While approving the request unanimously, committee members included a notation that the variance should go away if the current mechanic ever abandons the site, according to Paul.

"I'm not sure it's going to fly," he said.

Finally, the advisory panel's members voted to approve several minor variances that will pave the way for a Turkey Hill convenience store and car wash to replace a former Bob Evans Restaurant at 6193 Cleveland Ave. It was initially scheduled to be a new prototype for Turkey Hill stores when it was brought before the development committee in July and then was tabled while some issues were ironed out.

Christopher Rinehart of Rinehart Legal Services said last week the 5,500-square-foot Cleveland Avenue site will be a standard model similar to the one on Morse Road.

The new design still awaits internal approval at the corporate level, the attorney said.

The development committee's approval was given without conditions.

"There was nothing that really required explanation in our notes," Paul said.