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City Told Guy to Build a Fence to Cover His Boat. He Did This

Etienne Constable strikes back with fence painted to look like the boat Seaside wanted him to cover up
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 13, 2024 11:42 AM CDT
Updated May 18, 2024 4:25 PM CDT

The city of Seaside, California, wanted Etienne Constable to put up a fence to block the unsightly vista of his boat parked in his driveway. So Constable, who says "I'm not a rule-breaker," dutifully put up a fence—and then cheekily had a neighbor paint the unsightly vista of his boat parked in his driveway on said fence. "I like to make a political statement ... as well as a humorous statement and a creative statement," Constable tells KSBW, adding that "I'm all in favor of generating a discussion and making people smile. The reaction is extremely more than we ever expected and we're both just tickled about it."

It seems the boat had been in his driveway for four years, and another boat was there long before that, so the demand came somewhat out of the blue. "We've been here for a long time," Constable tells the Los Angeles Times, "and nobody had ever said anything before." So he had a meeting of the devious minds with neighbor Hanif Panni, and they hatched their plan. "Creativity is always a good tool to use against bureaucracy," he says, "if it's done thoughtfully and with the rules in mind." Since the fence has gone viral, other homeowners around town have reached out to Panni to see if he might also help them poke the city in the eye. (More fence stories.)

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