Board discusses potential fence height around private pools

As more and more people in Arlington have installed pools at their houses, the Village Board of Trustees discussed guidelines for fence height.

Chairman Paul Krause said the fence height in the ordinance was vague.

"Our biggest concern is making sure that we either have a fence or steps that can be removed," Krause said. "When they made these rules back in the day, a fence was a fence. We are just trying to tighten this up again and try to get something drawn up that fits with our ordinance."

Arlington residents Eric and Cheryl Hamre have a pool and asked for clarification at the meeting.

"The only ordinance you had was all pools need to have a fence," Eric Hamre said. "If you have different stuff on it, I'd like to look at it."

Krause said one of the definitions they are looking at as a barrier is a pool that is over 48 inches. A definition of a barrier with the wall of a pool being 36 inches.

"A five-foot pool qualifies as a barrier," he said. "For us, the most important would be a gate or a barrier that you can't climb."

Board member Travis Kraemer said they were looking at the International Building Code recommendations on pools.

Board member Mark Sundberg asked about the difference in 48 inches in the guidelines but the proposal says 36 inches.

"I think there was a reason it was 48 inches," Sundberg said.

Kraemer shared his rationale behind the changed number.

"I looked at if someone had a pool and a deck, and the pool was against the deck, the deck railing would qualify as a fence and most deck railings are 36 inches," Kraemer said. "If it had to be 48 inches you would have to put a barrier above the deck railing. That's why I proposed 36 inches."

Krause said the board would try to narrow down the definition of fences and get the height to something they can all agree on and discuss the issue next month.

The possibility of chickens in Arlington discussed

The debate about allowing chickens in the Village of Arlington continued, with Arlington residents Jacques and Amanda Le Roux expressing their desire for the opportunity.

"I come from a farming background and everyone says they stink," Jacques Le Roux said. "Most dogs are going to be much louder than chickens."

Krause said the ordinances he's interested in have no roosters, cages and the owners must register at the office.

"Even then I wonder if we aren't attracting varmints," he said.

Sundberg opposes chickens in the village.

"I don't see any compelling reason to change our stance," he said.

Board member Scott Pokorny said he has received feedback that's been negative and positive.

"I can see it both ways," he said.

Krause said he thinks it's a bad time to be asking for this.

"Maybe in a different time," he said. "If we don't have a couple of votes for considering it and making it an ordinance, I don't know if we will allow chickens."

Board member Jason Wiese asked the Le Rouxs if they would be willing to pay a fee for the chickens as one of the ordinances requires. They said they were willing.

"If you're passionate about it, you'll probably have to have more than just yourselves show up to the meetings," Wiese said. "I've heard more negatives than I've heard positives."

Krause invited the Le Rouxs to come up with some sample ordinances and look for some more support.

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