Arterial Fence and Wall Master Plan
On July 19, 2016, the City Council reviewed an assessment report (click here to view) on the general condition of the fences and walls along the City’s arterial streets. Based on information presented that evening, the City Council, among other things, directed Staff to proceed with short-term solutions to address the unsafe and deteriorating condition of privately-owned arterial fences and walls, with an emphasis on addressing deteriorated chain-link fencing along Hawthorne Boulevard, and to return with a long-term plan to address arterial fences and walls throughout the City.
On April 18, 2017, the City Council received a status report on the City's Arterial Fence and Wall Program (click here to view). The Council was informed that the City's Public Works Department is in the process of removing the deteriorated chain-link fences and pilasters along Hawthorne Blvd. as a short-term solution. In regards to long-term solutions, the Council that evening initiated code amendment proceedings to RPVMC Section 17.76.030(F)(6) to require replacement fences and walls along specified arterial streets to comply with a future Arterial Fence and Wall Master Plan. The Council that evening also directed the Planning Commission to review design options to be included in the City's future Arterial Fence and Wall Master Plan.
Arterial Fences and Walls Program Update
The Arterial Fences and Walls Assessment report indicated that the majority of the chain-link fencing and pilasters located along Hawthorne Boulevard are in disrepair. In continuing the City’s efforts to beautify and educate the public about its arterial streets, particularly Hawthorne Boulevard, the City began public outreach on this topic. Staff attended the November 2016 Council of Homeowners’ Associations (CHOA) meeting to discuss, among other things, the topic of arterial fences and walls. Furthermore, the City’s Spring 2017 Quarterly Newsletter included an article regarding the ownership and maintenance responsibility for arterial fences and walls, emphasizing that they are primarily located on private property.
On March 1, 2017, the City sent a letter (Attachment A) to the owners of 128 properties abutting Hawthorne Boulevard, requesting the removal of fences and walls (including pilasters) due to their deteriorated condition and the removal of any earth and vegetation debris that had fallen into the public right-of-way by May 1, 2017. The letter also indicated that property owners had the option of allowing the City to do the work, at the City’s expense, since the City Council authorized funding to do a one-time clean-up of the fences and walls along Hawthorne Boulevard. In order to take advantage of this opportunity, property owners were informed that they need to submit an Access Agreement authorizing the City and its crews to enter their properties to complete this work. To date, the City has received 52 Access Agreements for the City to do this work, but is unaware of any property owner who has voluntarily removed their fence or wall.
The City is in the process of removing the chain-link fences and pilasters along Hawthorne Boulevard within the next two months. For those property owners who have not returned the required Access Agreement, the City will be contacting these individual property owners to further discuss the purpose of this project. If voluntary compliance isn’t reached nor an Access Agreement signed, the City will proceed with code enforcement for property maintenance.
Arterial Fence and Wall Master Plan
As a long-term solution, Staff believes that an Arterial Fence and Wall Master Plan would allow the City to properly plan for a modern and uniform appearance of the City’s arterial roadways by creating a consistent and unique theme for the look and feel of fences and walls along the City’s arterial streets. Such a Master Plan will also help property owners understand what type of replacement fencing or wall is allowed along the City’s arterial streets. Most recently Staff brought a report to the August 14, 2018 Planning Commission meeting, regarding the matter of creating a subcommittee consisting of two Planning Commissioners to assist Staff with creation of the Arterial Fence and Wall Master Plan.
Formation of Subcommittee
On August 14, 2018, the Planning Commission appointed Commissioner Leon to fill the vacancy on the Arterial Fence and Wall Master Plan Subcommittee, the other two members of which are Commissioners Bradley and Nelson, and directed Staff to work with the Council of Homeowner’s Associations (CHOA) to include two of their members to be a part of the subcommittee. Staff will also be releasing a Request for Proposal (RFP) to design consultants to assist with the design, packaging, and engineering sections of the Master Plan.