April 20, 2021
It is with concern that I address the issue of vinyl fencing, with respect to Dr. Wadsworth Murad’s home on Nona. The Historic Board’s ruling allowing the use of vinyl fencing for the back portion of the property but not on the side of his property is simply capricious and does not remain consistent with the Historic Board’s philosophy.
First of all, the side vinyl fencing allows Dr. Murad both additional privacy and security and is visually appealing. The existing property is next to chain link fencing and vacant lot, offering no security or privacy and is certainly not visually appealing. The property itself is not historic, despite being within the district. It makes no sense to exclude a property from historic designation and yet insist that it is within the historic district and abide by arbitrary rules.
It is critical to note that several properties across from his home are in the city of San Bernardino and not within the “historic district” and the board has no jurisdiction over those properties.
The sole criteria is that the Murad property is within the district even though it is not historic is a basic contradiction. Either the property is historic or it is not and it is difficult to justify a decision that a non-historic structure be governed by the Historic Board.
The board has heretofore designated properties as historic, which fall far outside the guidelines of the state designation as well.
Furthermore, either vinyl fencing is allowed or it is not – it is beyond reason to suggest that it is allowed on part of the property and not on another part, especially based on visibility from the street. Although a wooden fence might allow for privacy, the fact is that wood deteriorates relatively rapidly and does not hold up over time and Iron fencing affords no privacy and requires constant maintenance and painting.
It remains that this decision is simply inconsistent and in fact the vinyl fencing improves the appearance and value of the property. Quite frankly, vinyl fencing is an attractive option and should not be disallowed. It does not require constant maintenance, it holds up well and can afford the desired privacy. This is not the Victorian era and times; building codes, materials and options have actually changed and improved over the past 100 years.
The board should reconsider its decision and allow vinyl fencing.