“I felt unsafe,” Landlords fighting to keep security wall after tenant was sexually harassed by neighbor

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STILLWATER, Okla. - Tear that fence down.

That's what city officials are telling a Stillwater couple who built a privacy fence around one of their rental homes.

Some call the fence an eye sore, but the owners said it's a necessary security measure.

The landlords rent the duplex to OSU students.

They built the fence after one of the college girls said her neighbor was sexually harassing her.

The fence is 8 feet tall, goes almost all the way to the street and the city said it has to go.

"I felt unsafe. If I got out of my car, I could see him just staring and watching me and making these comments. It made me very uncomfortable in the day time, let alone at night," said Amanda Hill.

Hill said her next door neighbor sexually harassed her for months.

That's why we agreed to conceal her identity.

She said police were next door often, visitors stopped by at all hours and, after all that alleged harassment, she'd had enough.

"I told them I didn’t feel comfortable here, and they said 'We’re going to put up this fence to help make him not be able to see you guys coming and what’s going on over here,'" Hill said.

Her landlords, Randy and Donna Wilson, built the massive fence.

They had no idea they'd broken city ordinance, but a letter got said they'd have to pay a fine of $500 a day if they didn't knock the fence down.

Officials said the fence is 4 feet too tall and extends too far into the public right of way.

"If they ever choose to widen ninth street, it’s easy to take out. We can take the fence out in a short time," Randy said.

That was part of the argument they made in front of the city council Monday night.

The Wilsons spent two years renovating the home near 9th and Hester.

They own several homes nearby, hoping to revitalize the area.

"It’s so close to campus. There should be a lot of students in this area," Hill said.

The Wilsons have installed motion lights on the front porch - another security feature they've added while they wait to see if they can keep a much bigger one.

"We want our tenants secure and safe, enjoy their time at OSU and have a good experience here," Donna said.

As for the neighbor harassing Hill, he just moved out.

City leaders are considering a variance request from the Wilsons that will allow them to keep the fence.

They'll revisit the issue at their first council meeting in August.

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