Posted by: Patricia Salkin | March 17, 2017

IA Appeals Court Finds Landowners Violated City Fence Ordinance

This case arose from a complaint the City of Ames received that homeowners Angela Doss and Duane Huffer were building a six-foot-tall fence in their backyard. The city inspected the fence project and notified the homeowners in a letter that their ongoing project violated the fence ordinance. After another inspection, the city sent a second violation letter. The homeowners appealed to the Ames Zoning Board of Adjustment, which unanimously denied the homeowners’ appeal. The District court then ruled that the homeowners’ partition-fence issue was not preserved for review and resolved the other four alleged illegalities in favor of the Board, annulling the writ.

On appeal, the court noted that any decision reached by a board of adjustment had a strong presumption of validity. Even assuming error was preserved, the court found no merit to the homeowners’ accusation the district court was biased in favor of the city. As to the homeowners’ other claims, the court agree with the district court’s well-reasoned decision to annul the writ. Accordingly, the court affirmed the holding of the district court.

Doss v. Zoning Board of Adjustment for City of Ames, 2017 WL 702373 (IA App. 2/22/2017)

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