Seal Beach’s Old Town just got a little bit prettier, a little bit breezier and a whole lot friendlier.
The infamous ‘spite fence’ is down.
Dubbed the ‘spite fence’ at Seal Beach City Council meetings by its resentful neighbors, the oft-derided, green-tarp fence that separated residents on the northwest side of town from views of the sun setting over the San Gabriel River and Pacific Ocean came down this week.
The gesture is a meaningful one for many in the city.
Seal Beach Realtor Nat Ferguson snapped these shots of the property shortly after the fence came down.
The fence was put up surrounding the vacant lot at the corner of Marina Avenue and First Street during a contentious legal battle between the city and the property owners Bay City Partners, who had plans to build homes on the land. Seal Beach had initiated proceedings to take land from Bay City using eminent domain, and the real estate group sued the city over its plans for a trails project along portions of the land. During the legal wrangling, Bay City Partners erected the fence ostensibly to protect cars parked nearby from the dust blowing from the coastal property that had been vacant for decades.
Neighbors resented the gesture because it blocked coastal views.
The city and Bay City Partners settled their lawsuits, and in July, the city approved plans to build 32 homes on the property. The City Council conditioned the approval upon Bay City Partners removing the fence.