Carlsbads Residents Say Barbed Wire Fence Around Properties Is Illegal

The La Costa Valley Homeowners Association is requesting a change in their Master Plan to allow the seven-foot-tall fence to stay.

Residents in one Carlsbad community are voicing their concerns about a seven-foot-tall fence topped with barbed wire -- a fence they say has been placed around parts of their community illegally for more than a year.

Last February, La Costa Valley residents said they woke up to find a new silver fence snaking around a 17-year-old, shorter black fence around the RV yard. The silver chain link fence had barbed wire and razor wire on top, though the razor wire was later removed.

“It’s hard to even imagine this is a reality until you actually go out and see it and you go, ‘How is this a reality?’” said homeowner Patrick Foley.

At Tuesday’s City Council meeting, residents plan to speak during the open comments portion to voice concerns over the fence, and later in the month, they will meet with Carlsbad City Planner Don Neu.

They want the city to address concerns that the homeowners association built the fence without proper permits and without contacting homeowners before construction.

In February 2014, the HOA put up the fence without any permits or approvals, said Neu, but at the time, the association told residents they had the proper approval from the city of Carlsbad, according to those who live there.

Steve Cilurzo, a resident of the neighborhood for nearly two decades, said he was never contacted about the installation of the fence, which ran by his property.

“They have willfully recklessly violated the City’s municipal code and our own Arroyo La Costa Master Plan,” said Foley.

Later that year, someone alerted the city’s code enforcement, and in response, the city issued a Final Notice of Violation to the HOA in December, formally informing them they had built the fence without permits and would need to either obtain the correct permits or take it down.

In December, the HOA removed the razor ribbon wire from the fence, but left the barbed wire and chained link in place, residents said. 

Instead of taking it down, the HOA started the formal process of trying to change their Master Plan, which would then allow them to build a fence taller than the current six-foot limit. 

The city told residents in March about then HOA's plan and allowed them to request an administrative meeting on the subject, said Neu. Several people requested that meeting.

Requests for comment from the La Costa Valley HOA have not been returned, though Cilurzo and other residents have been attending meetings since the fence went up. 

Neu said his office is working to meet with those who have filed complaints about the amendment. He said they are working to find a time that works best for everyone.

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