Janesville55.5°

City wants second Briarmoon shed removed

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MARCIA A. NELESEN
October 31, 2008
— Say it ain’t so.

K. Andreah Briarmoon has another shed, and the city is telling her to remove it.


Janesville city officials say the shed violates zoning ordinances. Briarmoon calls it harassment.


You’d have to be living under a rock not to remember the first shed drama.


Briarmoon fought the city for more than three years when officials ordered her to take down a garage she owned on rental property at 1402 W. Court St. She eventually lost that case in court, and the city demolished the garage in August 2006. Briarmoon was arrested for trying to stop the demolition.


The shed that is now the subject of a city order is at 332 S. Academy St. on property diagonal from Briarmoon’s residence at 339 S. Locust St.


Officials say they became aware of the code violation when someone called police Nov. 7, 2006, and complained about a man, woman and baby living “in the weeds” at 332 S. Academy St.


Police didn’t find anyone living in a tent but reported the property was a “bit of an eyesore” because of tarps strewn about.


The items belonged to a neighbor who was being foreclosed on, and he told police he would clean it up.


The case was referred to code enforcement for follow-up.


“When we go out into that type of situation, we need to take care of the violations that are observed,” said Jennifer Petruzzello, director of neighborhood services.


On Dec. 22, 2006, the city sent an order to correct that required Briarmoon to clean up the debris and remove the shed from the vacant lot. The shed violates an ordinance that does not allow an outbuilding on property without a primary dwelling.


The ordinance exists because the principal use of property in a residential district must be residential or one other permitted use, said Gale Price of the city’s planning department. Storage is not one of them.


The debris initially reported on the property has since been cleaned up, but the shed on blocks remains.


“The complaint has been issued, and it needs to be followed up with,” Petruzzello said. “Even though (Briarmoon) has complied with many items in the original complaint, there’s still this issue and it needs to be resolved with the complaint. We just can’t ignore that.”


Several orders to correct have been sent over the years, and on Jan. 15, 2008, Petruzzello wrote in a letter that the case would be referred to the city attorney.


The city has charged Briarmoon with five counts of violating the city zoning ordinance that prohibits outbuildings on vacant lots. Each count carries a fine of $249 for a total of $1,245.


Briarmoon’s initial appearance in Rock County Court is scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 25.


Briarmoon said she has asked two council members to come look at the shed, which she described not as outbuilding but a chicken coop that has been there for 18 years.


She claims city officials illegally trespassed on her property.


Briarmoon also doubts the validity of the initial complaint, and said officials are “stalking our neighbors and harassing people.


“I kind of took it personally,” Briarmoon said. “I don’t think I’m paranoid.


“I think it’s harassment.”



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