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Riverside Fence Comes Down 

Art dealer Robert E. Crawford, who built the fence on his 8-acre property at 7751 Riverside Drive, could not be reached for comment. But when Style contacted him for a previous article, Crawford said he had heard no complaints about the fence. The "extraordinarily" expensive barrier was needed, Crawford told Style last month, to prevent cars from parking on the bank and trespassers from venturing onto his land. "We had such a hard time maintaining the property," he said.

But a resident concerned about pedestrian safety called Councilman Joseph E. Brooks, 4th District. The fence stood so close to the road, the resident said, that people accustomed to strolling along the riverbank were forced into the street, where drivers often break the speed limit and zip around curves.

Brooks, who is also a resident of the area, urged the city's public works and zoning departments to survey the property. The fence met zoning requirements, inspectors found. However, Survey Superintendent James Harmon discovered the fence stood on public property for 80 percent to 90 percent of its length. In some places it was positioned as much as 4 1/2 feet within city land.

It's an easy mistake to make, Harmon says. The city-owned right of way for Riverside Drive is 30 feet in width, he explains, but the boundaries don't always lie exactly 15 feet from the road's center on each side. For that reason, he says, "we advise people to stay off the property line a little bit," to be safe when constructing such things.

Harmon sent a letter to Crawford, advising him of the encroachment. Soon after, the fence came down. Nearby residents surmise the fence will be re-erected within the boundaries of his property. — M.S.S.

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