Watch: Man ordered to hide his boat has vessel painted on new fence

Man ordered to hide his boat has vessel painted on new fence

May 13 (UPI) — A California man ordered by his city to conceal the boat parked in his driveway with a fence hired his artist neighbor to paint a photo-realistic image of the vessel in an act of rebellious compliance.

Etienne Constable said the boat he uses for fishing was regularly parked in his Seaside driveway for about four years before he received a letter from the city informing him of a municipal code requiring boats and trailers to be “screened on the side and front by a six-foot-high fence.”


Constable said his initial reaction to the letter was anger, but he then spoke to his neighbor, mural artist Hanif Panni, and arrived at a creative solution.

Constable had a fence installed to block his driveway, and Panni, who creates art under the name Hanif Wondir, painted a photo-realistic image of the boat and the rest of the driveway on the road-facing side of the fence.

“We kind of hit the sweet spot between following the rules and making an elegant statement to the contrary,” Constable told The Washington Post.

Panni, who described the project as an attempt to create “an illusion,” posted photos of the finished work to social media, where they quickly went viral.

“I’m all in favor of generating a discussion and making people smile,” Constable told KSBW-TV. “The reaction is extremely more than we ever expected and we’re both just tickled about it.”

The project earned fans including Nick Borges, Seaside’s acting city manager, who called Constable to compliment him on the creative solution. Borges said he had seen the photos on social media before he realized they were from a local home.

“I thought, ‘Wow, that’s pretty creative.’ I laughed at it, and then I started getting calls from local media,” Borges said.

He said the letter received by Constable was the result of actions taken last year. Borges said the city had received numerous complaints about lax code enforcement, so someone was hired to investigate and contact violators.

Borges said Constable’s case was closed out when the fence was installed and no further actions will be taken.

“The only action I’m going to take is a high five, and that’s it,” Borges said.

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