Village Orders Boy's Wheelchair Ramp Torn Down

MILAN, Ohio (AP) - The village has told the family of a 9-year-old boy who uses a wheelchair to tear down a ramp outside their home because it's too close to a street.

The ramp is 2 feet too close, said Larry Smith, zoning inspector and street superintendent for the village about 55 miles southeast of Toledo. The ramp should be 35 feet behind their property line.

A church group and an accounting business built the ramp for Jeremy Risner.

"No one knew we had to get a permit to build a ramp for a boy who cannot walk," said family friend Terry Gran said. "This isn't about 2 feet; it's about a boy who can't walk into his own house."

Smith said he has never been asked by the Risners for a variance that could allow them to keep the ramp. The zoning board would decide whether to grant such a request.

The boy's mother, Laura Risner, said she told Smith and building inspector John Zimmerman they were planning to build a ramp in the back yard.

But while Jeremy and his mother were on a vacation, a church group and an accounting firm donated time, material and money to build the ramp in front of the home.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)