Watertown Files Lawsuit Over Controversial Fence
The city of Watertown has made good on its promise - it has filed a lawsuit against Jacob Johnson, the owner of a controversial chain-link fence.
The suit was filed Thursday in state Supreme Court.
"I had to put a fence up for the pool," Johnson said in September. "Knowing that, I did what looked best aesthetically, what went with the property, what worked for my neighbors, friends and family,"
Johnson said Thursday he learned the lawsuit had been filed from the news media.
"I feel that some of the local ordinances are unconstitutional and violate residents' property rights," he said in a phone interview. "I feel like this is a waste of taxpayer money, time along with city civil servant time."
Johnson also said the city offers no incentive to keep young business people in Watertown and has shown no sign of appreciation for the work he has done in the community.
According to lawsuit documents, Johnson told the codes department he'd rather die than properly install the fence.
"This is not about an individual, this is not about setting an example, this is about compliance," said city manager Sharon Addison.
"It was enacted, I believe, because there was an issue with a fence put up so close to a driveway," city council member Steve Jennings said. "The person couldn't see to get out of the driveway and that's an issue."
Friday, January 30, 2015, Watertown, NY
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