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**  A second window aside called by the
She-philosopher.com Restricted Access page, entitled
“To the lawmakers responsible for California Assembly Bill 1404, the ‘Good Neighbor Fence Act of 2013’”  **


[ An HTML transcript of e-mail sent on 26 February 2016 follows, with recipient’s contact data removed to discourage spam. ]


Subject:  Re: From the Office of Assemblymember Brian Maienschein
From:  Deborah Taylor-Pearce <dtp@she-philosopher.com>
Date:  2/26/2016 10:12 AM
To:  Robert Knudsen <...>

On 2/24/2016 3:50 PM, [Robert Knudsen] wrote:
> I might suggest that you contact the
> City of San Diego Neighborhood Code
> Compliance and request an investigation.

I have already done this. Back on 12/15/2011 I first e-mailed Afsaneh Ahmadi, P.E., Chief Building Official, Chief Deputy Director, Development Services, City of San Diego, and when I had still not received a reply almost 3 months later, I sent her office a package of documents, dated 3/9/2012, via certified mail (it was delivered on 3/12/2012). Her office then referred the matter to Robert A. Vacchi, Deputy Director, Neighborhood Code Compliance Division, Development Services Department, City of San Diego, who sent me the following reply (via e-mail) on 3/29/2012:

"After reviewing your documentation and our own records, we have found no evidence that a 'City easement' exists along your rear property line. Easements are not typically created as buffers between subdivisions. They are normally created to provide access, space for utilities, or open space to preserve natural habitat. In the normal course of subdivision development, these easements are depicted on the approved subdivision map. In this case, no easements are shown on either subdivision map, the zone map, or either Assessor map. A review of aerial photos reveals no physical evidence of an easement at the rear of your property. If you have any additional documentation indicating that an easement exists, we would be happy to review that information for you. Please contact me if you have additional questions."

I have never had proof that a "City easement" (my phrasing back then, because I didn't know what else to call it) exists between subdivisions, and had always just assumed that the city owned the 21-inch clearing on the other side of the subdivision boundary fencing which was erected by the developer of the subdivision behind us.

Mr. Vacchi's e-mail established that it doesn't.

But, since the City of San Diego does not do surveys of this sort, and the homeowners behind us have never (as far as I know) had their properties surveyed, no one knows for sure who actually owns what used to be a 21-inch clearing behind us.

(I maintained it for over 15 years, and after we replaced our wood fencing with a masonry wall, I paid for, brought in, shoveled and graded 2 yards of topsoil on the other side of our wall: does this mean that I, too, have a claim to the area?)

> I might suggest that you ask them
> questions specific to AB 1404 and
> the "Good Neighbor Fence Act" of
> 2013. [...] The City of San Diego
> has a Neighborhood Code Compliance
> Department that is responsible for
> enforcing the laws that are passed
> down from Sacramento.

But the judge has ruled that Cal. Civ. Code § 841(a) does not apply to subdivision boundary fencing, and the authors of AB-1404 have removed what little guidance existed before about enclosure from the new law.

None of us can enforce a law that doesn't apply, or that we don't properly understand and interpret ... which is why I seek clarification about the new law (and its intent) from the authors of AB-1404.

Again, I wish to ask lawmakers:

1. If Cal. Civ. Code § 841(a) does not apply to subdivision boundary fencing, to what does it apply?

2. What part of AB-1404 covers subdivision boundary fencing that was located by the developer 21 inches back from the subdivision boundary line?

3. Why are issues relating to enclosure, and unlawful enclosure, not addressed by AB-1404?

4. What protections from predatory neighbors do I, and others like me, have under the new law?

Thanks for spending time & energy on this,
Deborah
_____
 
Deborah Taylor-Pearce
dtp@she-philosopher.com