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Monroe homeowners spend thousands replacing siding, but then are told they're violating ordinance

·2 min read

Apr. 29—A Monroe couple that recently received a notice they were in violation of the city's vinyl siding ordinance wrote a letter to city council addressing their concerns.

That letter and the city's long-standing vinyl prohibition was discussed at length during Tuesday night's meeting with councilwoman Christina McElfresh saying she's sympathetic to the concerns of the residents.

"I feel for these homeowners," she said. "(Their) house was built with a faulty product."

In an email to city council that was obtained by The Journal-News, Brandon and Amanda Brooks, who live in the 300 block of Brookhurst Drive in the Reserves of Brittony Woods subdivision, wrote they recently replaced the home's siding with vinyl siding after the cement boards were "badly cracked and literally falling off of our home in the wind."

The couple wrote that prior to their commitment to the siding replacement, they emailed the city to make sure there weren't any zoning or permit requirements.

"After all, we did not want to put out tens of thousands of dollars if we didn't do our due diligence first," the letter read.

The couple was told that as long as there was no HOA or any private covenants or restrictions for the property, then there is "no specific requirement," according to the letter.

There are at least two other homes in this subdivision that have full vinyl siding, the couple wrote. Another couple, David and Alicia Brown, who live in the 700 block of Nightstar Court, wrote a similar letter to council.

Kevin Chesar, director of development for Monroe, said the couples were contacted about their violations after the city was informed by neighbors. Mayor Jason Frentzel said the city doesn't have employees driving around looking for violations.

Chesar said the city has heard from residents, "these are your codes and you should be enforcing."

The siding issue "is not a high violation event," he said.

McElfresh said the city must do a better job of educating residents of potential violations before they spend money to renovate their properties.

Chesar said the homeowners could pay $300 to get a variance request with the board of zoning appeals, though that doesn't guarantee the zoning will be changed.

He said homeowners who replace their brick, stone or cement boards must use an approved coverings, according to zoning that was passed nearly 20 years ago. The "current character" of the neighborhood must remain the same, he said.