Poor Boyz Recycling owners James Wood and Seth Crocker no longer need to worry about installing a masonry, vinyl or wood fence around part of the property they plan to use for their business in the near future. Instead, the required 6-foot-high sight-proof fence can be made of metal, which is what the duo wanted to use in the first place.

St. Clair Mayor Ron Blum and City Administrator Rick Childers told The Missourian earlier this month that upon closer review of a city ordinance, metal can be used for the fencing material at the site.

The divider has been one of the sticking points between the business owners and the city as Poor Boyz makes preparations to move its shop from the downtown area to property recently annexed on the west side of St. Clair on Gravois Avenue.

Woods and Crocker have appeared before the city’s planning and zoning board and board of aldermen multiple times in going through the process.

“They are allowed to use metal for the fence,” Blum said. “We reviewed the ordinance.”

According to the mayor and city administrator, city ordinance does dictate that any fence erected as a divider between residential property must be made of masonries, vinyl or wood. But since the St. Clair Motel, located next door, is a business that provides residential housing instead of being an actual residential property, city code states the fence also can be made of metal.

“The motel is a place where people stay,” Childers said. “It’s not considered residential.”

Blum did emphasize, however, that other stipulations about the fence, determined by a conditional use permit approved by the board of aldermen, still stand.

Last month, the board of aldermen first conducted a public hearing and then during its regular meeting discussed and approved a conditional use permit for Poor Boyz Recycling, which is moving its operations from downtown to newly annexed land at 685 W. Gravois Ave.

The permit was approved as recommended by the city’s planning and zoning board, despite complaints from Woods and Crocker about the 6-foot sight-proof fence they will have to build around the section of the 3-acre property where they will store materials outdoors.

The two items debated by Woods and Crocker were the sight-proof fence as well as having to provide a surety bond in case they go out of business and force the city to clean up the site afterward.

In May, Woods and Crocker submitted a letter to the aldermen prior to the public hearing and meeting requesting a change to the permit conditions. They wanted to only have to build a partial fence and not have to enclose the entire east side of the property as required in the CUP and that they be allowed two years to complete it.

During that regular aldermen meeting, there was no discussion before the ordinance was approved as presented. It lists the 21 conditions for Poor Boyz, including the fencing requirement and the $10,000 surety bond.

“The lot to the east of the primary building shall be designated for open storage purposes and shall have a minimum of a 6-foot-tall fence designed to fully obscure and screen the view of the stored material,” the ordinance reads. “Such fence shall fully enclose the entire east lot and shall be erected and maintained according to city ordinances.”

Blum and Childers said the only change now is the option to use metal for the fencing.

Currently, Poor Boyz is located near the intersection of South Main Street and East Springfield Road. The Gravois Avenue land currently is owned by Jerry Landing.