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Why a fence has delayed opening for this Richmond business

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RICHMOND, Va. -- Johnny Farag and his brother wanted to bring business to South Richmond to help improve the area.

The plan is to open Fishers Auto Sales, Services and Tires. The owners even want to give a discount to veterans and students at George Wythe High School.

However, since getting the property in March, Farag said they have already experienced some issues on Belt Boulevard where the business is.

"I've been broken into, the guys next door, the guys next to me have been broken into just over the weekend," said Farag.

Now, Farag said they fear problems could get even worse.

Johnny Farag

Johnny Farag

He said he was told by the City that the chain linked fence, that was already on the property, needs to be removed.  Farag said he was told it had to come down because of an ordinance.

"It feels like I'm being picked on," said Farag.

Farag said the City told him he could put up a decorative fence instead, but he would have to pay for it.

"Who has a decorative fence around here and show me the difference between my property and someone else's property," he said.

Aside from it being costly, Farag said it's also a safety concern taking a fence down.

"I do not feel comfortable taking this fence down, not for one day, because I feel like that will make me vulnerable," he said.

Councilwoman Reva Trammell is also working to help Farag and his brother keep the fence.

fencemain

The fence.

"That fence is public safety, that fence will help keep people off their property," said Trammell.

Trammell said it's been hard enough keeping businesses in the area, and this kind of situation with the City is just going to drive more business owners away.

"There's other things we need to go look at," said Trammell, "go look at all the prostitutes on Jefferson Davis, go look at the crime on Jefferson Davis."

CBS 6 reached out to the city about Farag's concerns.

A spokesman said it was a zoning issue, and he was working to contact the zoning administrator for more details. As of Wednesday evening, we were still waiting to hear more about the situation.