California

The Zoning Code Banned His Tall Fence, but Not the Naked Mannequin Party Behind It

California man highlights the absurdity of dumb regulations.

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When the city of Santa Rosa, California, told Jason Windus he had to lower the fence around his home, he complied. But the Santa Rosa Code Enforcement Division probably couldn't have predicted his next move.

Windus set up multiple naked mannequin models in his yard. With the shortened fence, they're on full display for the entire neighborhood to see. And since they're just mannequins, it's not as though he's running afoul of any public indecency regulations.

"The way I see it is you can either cop a resentment or you can have some fun with it," Windus told NBC Bay Area. "There's no sense in getting angry."

It all started after Windus built a fence to keep his dogs from leaving his property, which is on a street corner. "It was a 6-foot fence, like everybody else's around here," he told The Press-Democrat. At least one neighbor wasn't a fan. A city spokesperson told KTVU someone filed a complaint last October regarding the fence. It was found to be in violation of the city code because it might block drivers' views of the intersection.

"They were going to fine me a lot of money if I didn't cut the fence down," Windus told KTVU. "I don't know who [the neighbor] is and I'm sure they're not going to come forward."

Windus shortened the fence to 3 feet. Incidentally, he happened to have several mannequins in his yard that he had obtained via his job running a moving company. "I couldn't bring myself to throw them away. I was going to use them for target practice," he told KTRK. It turned out they would come in handy.

"I guess the average person would get angry," Windus told KTRK. "I throw a naked party in my yard."

"You want to see the inside of my yard, now you get to," he added to NBC Bay Area. To top it all off, Windus set up a sign in his yard that reads: "Reserved seat for the nosey neighbor that complained about my fence to the city."

It's a noble sentiment, and one that neighbors seem to appreciate. (Multiple passersby expressed their amusement to various local outlets). While there are countless stories of the government getting in the way of citizens building what they want on their own property, it's not too often citizens respond the way Windus did.

His response does draw some parallels to that of Ted Pelkey of Vermont, who couldn't get a permit to build an 8,000-square foot garage on his property. So he commissioned an artist to carve a 700-pound, wooden sculpture of the middle finger, and had it installed in his yard, complete with two floodlights so that it was visible 24/7.

Which is better: Naked mannequin party or giant middle finger? That's for you to decide.

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49 responses to “The Zoning Code Banned His Tall Fence, but Not the Naked Mannequin Party Behind It

  1. “I was going to use them for target practice,”

    “You want to see the inside of my yard, now you get to…Reserved seat for the nosey neighbor that complained about my fence to the city.”

    I think I have a bro crush.

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    3. Interestingly KTVU left out the target practice piece and just made them ‘cool’.

      “We cleaned out an entire clothing store and I couldn’t bring myself to throw them away because they were so cool,”

  2. Drivers would probably have a better view of the intersection if they simply bulldozed the house. Although, personally, I don’t think I can support individualized transportation when public transit goes everywhere that’s worth going.

  3. His fence was blocking the view of crossing traffic, stop being such a sanctimonious dick dude.

    1. Street view says it’s on a three-way stop on a small residential road before a curve anyway. If anything, a partially occluded view may encourage drivers to actually stop (since there’s a stop sign anyway) and make sure that no one is running the other stop sign. I just can’t see a scenario in which he could possibly block the view of the intersection enough that it would actually be an issue. Maybe light is curvy in California and that causes all sorts of issues. Or maybe politics is literally the worst way of solving nearly any problem.

      https://imgur.com/a/IFBcTZ2

    2. Like 64Ki said, the intersectional view would be even better without the house there.

      Aren’t cars supposed to slow down at intersections? Most urban and suburban intersections have either 2-way or 4-way stop signs, don’t they? Been a long time since I had to drive around such places on any regular basis, maybe I am wrong, but the principle still holds that drivers are supposed to exercise care around intersections.

    3. You call yourself a libertarian? I think he should equip his mannequins with dildos and “fleshlights.”

    4. You know this….how? Because you live in the neighborhood, or you just believe everything government says as gospel? Lick them boots!

    5. His fence was blocking the view of crossing traffic…

      Doesn’t look like that to me. Looks more like a bunch of busy bodies that are ‘sanctimonious dicks’.

      1. Hard to 100% sure without being there, but yes, it doesn’t look like the fence was close enough to the intersection to cause any meaningful obstruction. I still want to punch his smug, passive aggressive ass in the face.

        1. I won’t though.

        2. So the dude is actively aggressed against, including threats of fines and/or imprisonment, and his response is “smug” and “passive aggressive.”

          Just? WTF?

          1. It’s textbook passive aggressiveness.

            Definition: “Showing passive, sometimes obstructionist resistance to following authoritative instructions in interpersonal or occupational situations.”

          2. just knowing his actions have pissed you off makes it even better!

            The neighbor and city were being a-holes to him, so he returned the favor. Gotta love it!

        3. Nathan Phillips, is that you?

        4. That’s around 8 feet from the curb, across the easement, over the sidewalk, and to the fence. That’s almost 8 feet you can put your car forward of this fence before you nudge the front end into the intersection. How many cars do you think have a greater than 8 foot distance between the front bumper and the back of the A-pillar?

    6. 1. Plenty of other places have high fences – and its not an issue for cross-traffic.

      2. There’s a sidewalk there, dude. Plenty of room to pull up and see what’s coming down the cross-street.

      Stop being such a lick-spittle dude.

  4. love this dude.

  5. Awesome.

    Also, I’ve read about an amazing technology that let’s you see around corners. Like, at intersections.

    1. Periscopes?

      1. Krummlauf.

  6. He needs to cut his grass, grow some on those bald spots and cut that.

    1. Don’t worry, I’ve already reported it.

  7. “You want to see the inside of my yard, now you get to,” he added to NBC Bay Area. To top it all off, Windus set up a sign in his yard that reads: “Reserved seat for the nosey neighbor that complained about my fence to the city.”

    I like the hell out of this guy.

  8. Time to put in tall bushes instead. Dont need a permit for that, so suck it!

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if they do ban bushes over 3 feet high on corner lots.

      Makes me wonder though …. is it only for corner lots? Could his two neighbors build 6 foot tall fences on their side of the joint property line?

      1. From the article, yes this was a restriction only on corner lots. “It was a 6-foot fence, like everybody else’s around here”.

        1. Right, so my actual question was whether neighbors could build six foot fences in place of his three footers.

          1. Not on his property.

            But yes, they could – and they did. But that puts those fences 50+ feet from the corner. So there’s no possible way they could block the view of the road.

  9. “Oh shit, we built a road too close to some guy’s house and now it’s dangerous.”

    “Dude: we’re the guvment. We don’t make mistakes: we blame it on others and make them fix it! But to hide our one mistake, we create a ‘regulation’ that everyone has to follow, even where it doesn’t make a difference!”

  10. “Which is better: Naked mannequin party or giant middle finger? That’s for you to decide.”

    Why not naked mannequins giving the middle finger? That makes it for sure protected speech.

    Main point; this is yet another example of why there should not be ANY anonymous reporting. The damn fool neighbor is using public resources, he/she/it/they should stand tall and tell the whole area who the true asshole is. Something about cross examining maybe? I think there was some old parchment I read a long time ago in a nation long forgotten.

  11. How long until the cops confiscate his guns because the same neighbor feels threatened by his “shooting them for target practice” remark?

    1. As Norton might say on the Honeymooners, “Good pernt”

  12. Jason Windus 2020

  13. I might get some quick Crete and make a few impromptu speed bumps in the middle of the night to make sure traffic slowed down. Maybe a few in the zoning boards’ driveways, too…

  14. As someone who lives near an intersection that is incredibly dangerous because of a tall fence that completely blocks views of oncoming traffic for those attempting to pull out from the stop sign, I’m not sure how to feel about this.

    Yes, there have been accidents. I’m honestly not sure what stout local law continues to protect the fence.

    1. Are there single lanes and stop signs at each of entrances to the intersection? Roads can be poorly designed, but it’s way easier to blame it on a homeowner and threaten them with fines than it is to come up with a better design.

  15. It’s the city zoning departments fault for allowing a property to be zoned too close to an intersection.

    If the homeowner wants to fence his yard, zoning should redefine the boundaries for safety and renegotiate his taxes with compensation for a smaller yard.

    This is funny, but fucking stupid.

  16. Not all heroes wear capes.

  17. If he lived in Lake Alfred, Florida, he wouldn’t be able to get away with it. Some years ago, the townsfolk had a fit because somebody placed a statue of David in front of their business. with his nether regions on full display. He finally had to get rid of him.

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  19. “Which is better: Naked mannequin party or giant middle finger? That’s for you to decide.”

    Why can’t he have both?

  20. So in Napa California many years ago a guy bought a DREAM piece of property on top of a hill. Like this was a multi million dollar property. It had zoning that allowed him to build the house he wanted… But the city decided to deny him the building permits to put up what was legally allowed as per the zoning, because they’re dicks or whatever.

    He fought them for years and years in court. He FINALLY won. In celebration he built a giant neon smiley face on his property, at juuust such an angle that it was perfectly facing city hall where they could see it out of their windows there. He used to keep it on all the time just to poke them in the eye. He stopped leaving it on all the time, but last time I was there he still kicked it on now and again. It’s a bit of a nice little local David and Goliath story with a happy ending 🙂

  21. Yeah, the damn fool neighbor is using public resources, he/she/it/they should stand tall and tell the whole area who the true asshole is.

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