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Watertown files lawsuit to remove Mullin Street fence

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The city has filed a lawsuit against the Mullin Street resident who installed a fence on his property this past summer, even though he knew it would violate the city’s fence ordinance.

The city filed the action Thursday in state Supreme Court against Jacob S. Johnson to compel him to remove or relocate the chain-link fence on his property at 261 Mullin St.

The city is seeking a court order to make Mr. Johnson tear the fence down, City Attorney James A. Burrows said. It was filed because Mr. Johnson “still refuses to comply.”

Mr. Johnson, who was unaware the city filed court papers, declined to comment.

Previously, he has vowed he would not tear down the fence without a fight.

He acknowledged that he built the fence after being told by the code enforcement office that he would be violating city code. According to the code office, Mr. Johnson failed to obtain a permit for the project. The fence also violates the ordinance because chain-link fences are prohibited in residential areas within 20 feet of the street and because the fence is within 5 feet of Mr. Johnson’s two neighbors’ driveways.

Both the City Council and the Zoning Board of Appeals rejected requests by Mr. Johnson to keep the fence up.

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