WEIRTON - The Weirton Zoning Board of Appeals gave a Marland Heights resident permission Tuesday to install a six-foot fence around her property provided it doesn't obscure visibility, while a Lindberg Way resident was granted a variance to create an oversized parking area in his back yard as long as it's paved.
Wendy McDaniel, 3800 Hanlin Way, had already had a family member cement the fence posts in when she found out a variance would be required because she has a corner lot, officials said. Work was halted pending the zoning board's decision.
Because it's a corner lot, the fence will extend into McDaniels' front yard. Under the city code, any front yard fencing higher than four feet requires a variance.
McDaniel had told the board a side door and her back door will both be inside the fence line. She also had said the fence will give her privacy, pointing out there's a lot of foot traffic as well as vehicular traffic past her house.
"It's pretty much like everybody is looking in my windows," said McDaniel, adding her son, who is doing the work, had angled the fence in the rear of the property to make it easier for drivers to see oncoming traffic on Euclid Avenue.
Woodlawn resident Ray Sanders said he has no problem with the fence being installed, but he was concerned that if it's not properly placed it will make it difficult for vehicles to access Euclid, a concern that was shared by several zoning board members.
"That's what worries me," Sanders said. "I just don't want to get involved in an accident trying to get out."
McDaniel submitted photos of her property showing where she hopes to install the fence, along with photos of several other corner properties within a block of her home that have six-foot fences.
"Visibility is an issue, clearly, there are other fences there over six foot," Zoning Chairman Vince Azzarello said, suggesting they grant the variance for a six-foot fence with a proviso that McDaniels' fence doesn't impair visibility. "(You'll need) to work with Rod (Rosnick, chief zoning enforcement officer) to figure out how that angle has to be set to be in compliance" with city code.
The board also agreed to permit John Parr, 3607 Lindberg Way, to use a 48-by-35 foot section of his back yard for parking.
"We have six children and four vehicles right now," said his wife, Vickie, pointing out Lindberg is a high-traffic area with limited on-street parking. "We want them to be able to park."
City code permits driveways up to 20 feet in width on residential lots less than 60 feet in width. It also stipulates driveways must be at least five feet from the side property line.
The parking area Parr is planning, which opens on an alley, would have a three-foot side yard setback.
Brightway resident Judy Pievech urged the board to require the homeowner to pave the parking area.
"One of the neighbors next door did the same thing and put slag in," she said, adding that, "I'm concerned that we're going to start to see backyards on Marland Heights become gravel yards."
The variance was granted, but Parr will have to pave the parking area, and also ensure that surface water is contained so as to prevent runoff onto neighboring properties.
(Harris can be contacted at email@example.com)