As we expected, the City of Santa Barbara did not approve of the News-Press‘ brand new green fence, which was fully erected (by such hard workers as The Fence Factory’s Martin Duran, shown here) last Friday. Rather, the city’s community development director Paul Casey sent a letter on Monday afternoon directly to the News-Press CFO Randy Alcorn (the most clear-headed person in the paper’s top brass, we understand), who apparently had spoken with city administrator Jim Armstrong earlier that morning.
Rather bluntly, Casey writes, “I wanted to let you know that the fencing on Anacapa Street in front of both News Press parking lots is not allowed and should be removed immediately.” Technically speaking, Casey explained that a building permit is required for any fence more than three-and-a-half feet tall. If the fence was to be permanent, and not temporary as the subject-head of the email suggested, then the city’s Historic Landmarks Commission (HLC) would have to be involved. And we sincerely doubt they’d go for an ugly green fence on one of the city’s prettiest thoroughfares.
Casey finished up the letter with, “Our zoning enforcement staff will follow up with a formal enforcement letter in the next day or so. I hope that the fence will be removed in a matter of days. If not, the City may administer administrative citation fines to achieve compliance.”
That’s about as strong a language as can come out of City Hall without outright threats. So let’s take some bets. How fast will the News-Press take it down?