Man’s Clever and Funny Response to City After They Told Him He Had to Hide His Boat Behind a Fence

If you’ve ever had to put up with ridiculous local rules, you can appreciate a California man’s frustration. 

Because if there’s any place full of such rules, it would be the Golden State.


Etienne Constable lives in Seaside, California. He has a boat parked in his driveway. But the local code enforcement folks told him in a strongly worded letter that large vehicles parked in driveways have to be hidden from view. They told him that he had to build a six-foot fence/structure to hide the boat. 

Now that rule just seems dumb and overly officious. You would think towns would have better things to do than that, especially in Gavin Newsom’s state where they have so many issues but don’t seem interested in dealing with them. 

But Constable managed to come up with a creative way of responding and letting them know what he thought, while nevertheless complying with the order. 

“I’m not a rule-breaker but I like to make a political statement as necessary as well as a humorous statement and a creative statement,” Constable told his local media. 

“I thought, ‘This is ridiculous,’ and my first reaction was to leave a nasty, nasty message at the city hall,” he told the Washington Post.

“And then I thought, well, I might as well build a screen … I’ll do what they want, but I’m not going to do it their way.”


So Constable built the fence and consulted with his neighbor, artist Hanif Panni, to paint a photorealistic mural of his ship on the fence that would visually look like the boat. 

This was the amazing result. You have to hand it to someone who would come up with this. 

Here’s the artist putting it all together, in a time-lapse video. 

It’s now gone viral and people are just loving it. And can you imagine what the reaction of the city officials will be? It’s surely going to be something. 

What a masterful troll of the local code enforcement folks. Very nicely done by both of the men, and that artist is very talented. The city officials haven’t weighed in yet on whether the fence meets the rules, but Constable has been getting a lot of attention for his great move from local news stations and social media, as has the artist, who now has been asked to do more murals for other people’s “boat fences.” So he’s getting more work out of it too. 


“I’m a big proponent of public art in spaces,” Panni said, and he’s certainly gotten a lot of public attention from it. 

Constable said that the reaction was “more than we ever expected, and we’re both just tickled about it.”

So good job, city officials. You got compliance, just not exactly what you expected, right in the face.

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