Monticello council reverses earlier vote on pool fence

Monticello council reverses earlier vote on pool fence

MONTICELLO — The new city council has reversed a zoning decision the council made last month.

Thomas Stoffel Jr. had applied for a variance to keep his 4-foot-high fence around a pool he is constructing at 201 Constitution Blvd., 2 feet below city zoning codes. The Zoning Board of Appeals had recommended approval, but the council in April voted it down 4-3, siting potential safety issues.

Stoffel appealed the ruling, the ZBA once again endorsed the variance, and this time aldermen followed suit with a 6-1 vote in favor on May 28. Two of last month's no votes — outgoing Aldermen Bill Mitze and Terry Cummings — were replaced by yes votes from newcomers Wendall Brock and Jim Miller. Lyle Murdock also changed his vote to support the motion.

Brock said he has found fences around existing pools that "I am sure are not over four feet tall," including one property without a fence at all, and felt prominent "no trespassing" should be sufficient.

But Vince Kuetemeyer stuck with his contention that a 6-foot fence would be safer, and cast the lone no vote. He admitted that several national agencies recommend a 48-inch standard for fences around pools, but that others have gone with a higher minimum.

Stoffel said his research showed the automatic cover for his pool will contribute to safety more than a higher fence.

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