“Phonehenge” Builder to Be Jailed Over Failure to Pay County

Picture: Bryan C. Frank (CC)

Poor Kim Fahey. He’ll be spending the next year and a half in county jail. Why? Because of an enormous art project dubbed “Phonehenge”. Although Fahey built the structure on his own property, the county deemed it necessary to demolish it – on Fahey’s dime. The retiree doesn’t have the cash to pay the bill, so it’s off to the pokey:

Via The Christian Science Monitor:

Los Angeles County charged builder Alan Kimble “Kim” Fahey $82,000 last year to demolish the structure, which included a 70-foot tower, stained-glass windows, a working windmill, and a replica of a Viking house in Antelope Valley, some 50 miles north of Los Angeles. This week, L.A. County Superior Court Judge Daviann Mitchell sentenced him to 539 days in jail after raising doubts about his inability to make payments on the bill.

The judge’s decision has sparked outrage among Fahey supporters, who claimed the structure should have been protected as a unique example of American folk art. But citing administrative law, most pointedly requirements that county residents get prior approval before embarking on massive building projects, code enforcers refused to budge, a jury backed them up, and the judge is set on enforcing the sentence.

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  • Andrew

    And yet they bend every rule to suit businesses’ desire to pollute. Goddamned motherfucking shitheads.

  • zombieslapper

    Fuck this shit. Wall Street thieves and Bush-era war criminals are running around free-as-can-be with pockets full of cash, but this old fart can’t build a kick-ass home on his PRIVATE PROPERTY? Again: Fuck this shit!

  • Calypso_1

    I believe that if many who recognize tyranny at high levels were to see the degree of control that has been and continues to be developed at the level of municipal code enforcement, often outside of the judicial apparatus, there would be a distinct change of focus into the less abstract local scale.

  • rtb61

    Talk about juvenile.

    No, you are not allowed to build any kind of crap you feel like than can get blow over by the wind or collapse on unsuspecting people.

    No trial and error method does not count as engineering. Want to build it, prove with calculations that itcan stand and is safe, ensure it complies with the laws you agreed to when purchasing the property which hint, hint, define the value of a property (yes, land used as rubbish dump is a whole lot less valued than land used as low density rural residential and you do not have the right to fuck with the value of your neighbours land).

    All the checking of the submitted calculations costs money, ensuring compliance with planning requirements which were agreed to upon purchase of the law cost money and in this case user pays, want to build you pay.
    The only error here, is it should have been knocked down a whole lot sooner, that it reached this point is failure of proper regulation and equal application of the law.

    • Andrew

      Wow! So property rights can violate each other. Who knew?

    • BuzzCoastin

      I think that’s why they like to call the place
      The Land of the Free

  • Calypso_1

    “There seems to be some kind of glee on the part of the county when they literally destroy 30 years of a dream,” said Bill Guild, president of the Town Council in Littlerock, not far from Fahey’s Acton property.
    “Rather than working with him, they worked against him.”

    If your home is ‘code enforceable’ you can defend it against invasion & vandalism. If not you pay for its destruction with your freedom. Some of the codes violated were structural (earthquake/fire) risks. The biggest structural risk this man’s home ever faced were the cables attached to the counties crane.

    Perhaps they county can save up for a combat bulldozer – proven on the testing grounds of Gaza & the West Bank.