“Have they nothing else to concern themselves with other than vinyl fences? There are bigger, more important issues…”

It’s a sentiment that was voiced more than once at the June 22 city council meeting during public comment and council discussion concerning the Historic and Cultural Preservation Board’s denial of a white vinyl fence on a residential property within the Highland Historic District. The board denied the fence for being made of historically inappropriate material for the district, a non-approved material in the city’s fencing guidelines for the district.

While there certainly are more important issues throughout the city it’s important to remember that it’s precisely these issues ⎯ the historical appropriateness and preservation of the homes and neighborhoods within the historic district ⎯ that are the concern and responsibility of the historic board.

A vinyl fence might be a little issue when stacked beside issues such as homelessness and violent crime, but those larger issues are not within the scope of the historic board’s responsibilities.

Whether the historic board’s denial of the vinyl fence was the best decision or not, we should neither fault nor chastise the board for taking seriously those issues and responsibilities it has been entrusted with, even if there are bigger issues in our community.

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