NARRAGANSETT- The Narragansett Zoning Board of Review voted to continue the motion to appeal the town building official’s notice to remove all fencing material located at 50 Lambert Street during the meeting last Thuresday.
Owners of the property Brian and Tammy McNeiece were present at the meeting and stated that they wanted to appeal the notice to remove the fencing material from their property because it is not considered as storage.
Due to Brian McNeiece’s South County Fence Company, McNeeice said that sometimes he does leave fencing material overnight in a wooden trailer attached to his truck, but in “no way is he storing fencing on the property.”
John Kenyon, attorney for the McNeices, stated that they have owned the property for 15 years and removed any fencing material from the property when they first received the complaint from the Department of Building Inspections in 2003.
Resident and abutting neighbor to the property, Arnold Adams, originally brought the issue to the attention of Building Official Anthony L. Santilli in 2003.
According to Adams in an email addressed to Narragansett Police Chief Dean Hoxsie, he was concerned that owners of the property Brian McNeiece were using their home as a commercial zone.
“Fencing material sits on the trailer ready for the next job. This is a residential area, not a commercial zone. I would like to invite anyone who has an interest to view the mess from our property,” said Adams. “The neglect of this property started when they moved in and where there were once beautiful gardens and trees now lies piles of brush and large unsightly growths of weeds and invasive plants. I think that an elected official would have more pride in their home and their yard.”
The notice issued to the owners on May 8, 2003 stated that the office received a number of complaints regarding the operation of a fence company at 50 Lambert St.
In a notice issued by the Department of Building Inspection on May 2, 2013, Santilli stated that on April 30, 2013 the office received a complaint regarding the property again. The alleged complaint stated that the owners were conducting a fencing business in a residential zoning district which is not a permitted use under Section 6.1 the Table of Use regulations.
On June 26, 2013 Santilli issued a final warning to the owners stating that the office sent a notice of violation on May 2, 2013 regarding the operation of a fence business at 50 Lambert St.
“In our conversation in May of 2013 we discussed the storage of fencing on your vehicle trailer at Plat O Lot 81. The exterior storage of material is prohibited in a residential zoning district,” said Santilli in the notice. “Please remove all fencing material from the property immediately or a municipal court summons will be issued by the office. A $500 a day penalty may be imposed from the original date of violation if you go to court.”
During the meeting Thursday, Santilli stated that the exterior storage of fencing on the trailer is violation of home occupation.
Owner Brian McNeiece stated that despite the complaints from the neighbors, he does not use the residential property at 50 Lambert St. for his fencing business.
“I do not use any of the home property for home occupation. The truck and the trailer have been the same for the last 10 years,” said McNeiece. “What is on my trailer is what I am working on that day; I don’t even have any signage on the truck.”
McNeiece stated that he stores his fence material at his business located on Rosehill Road but sometimes leaves fencing material in the trailer overnight due to his overcrowded schedule of coaching at the Narragansett High School.
Zoning board member Robert O’Neill questioned McNeiece on why he leaves the fence material in the trailer at his residential property.
“Why wouldn’t you leave it at Rose Hill Road, I mean it is 10 minutes away, 10 minutes is not a long drive,” said O’Neill.
Director of the Department of Community Development Mike Deluca stated that an appeal of the building official’s notice is not common. Due to the fact that it is not common, Deluca said that the board does not have a certain protocol when dealing with these types of appeals.
“We probably get three or four appeals like this a year, this doesn’t happen very often,” said DeLuca. “The parking of the truck and trailer in the driveway, does that constitute storage? That’s the decision zoning board will have to make, and it’s a tough one to be honest.”