Neighbors balk at six-foot chain link fence proposed at Campus Village Apartments

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SAGINAW COUNTY (WJRT) (6/11/2019) - Security upgrades are coming to an apartment complex near Saginaw Valley State University, but there is concern with how it will look.

The owners of Campus Village Apartments are planning to install a security fence, but neighbors don't like the chain link style.

Campus Village Apartments, site of an alleged sexual assault in April and other serious crimes in the past, is planning to install fencing as an additional security measure.

"It's always been our priority, the safety of our residents," said co-owner John Leuenberger.

Most people are happy to hear the complex is adding security, but many are of leery of the chain link fence that the owners are planning to erect.

Many of the residents who live at Campus Village across the street from Saginaw Valley are students. Three men who do not live at the apartments are accused of sexually assaulting two women in one of the buildings in April.

Leuenberger said security gates and fencing will be put up in the main entrance area to keep a closer eye on who is entering the property. Installation could begin next week.

"The students will be able to sign the nonresidents in and the resident will have to be with his guest at anytime," he said.

Additional fencing will be place along the east side of the property. Kochville Township was hoping the fencing would be consistent with other barriers in the Cardinal Square District.

"We have design guidelines in our zoning ordinance that don't allow for six-foot chain link fences within certain areas," said Kochville Township Downtown Development Authority Director Tyson McKinley.

But to keep costs down, that's exactly the type of fence Leuenberger plans to put up. He said the fence will be coated in blank vinyl to avoid rust and allow it to retain color.

The township is allowing the chain link fence because Leuenberger is placing it more than 30 feet from the roadway. SVSU, as a neighbor, was hoping the fence would be similar to decorative fencing on its property.

"What we want to see for any development is that plans are consistent with what has been established for a long period of time," said university spokesman J.J. Boehm.

Leunberger said the chain link fence will only be temporary.

"I think it will look just fine," he said. "The biggest thing is safety. We don't want this to be a prison "