MOORPARK : Homeowners May Be Assessed for Wall
To make room for a new sidewalk along California 118 in Moorpark, workers recently removed a block-long hedge that gave privacy and perhaps some noise protection to residents whose back yards abut the busy highway.
Now the city has said that the owners of the 19 homes on Sherman Avenue may have to help pay for a new wall to give them the privacy they lost.
The mature hedge that was removed about three weeks ago from the north side of the highway between Spring Road and Millard Street was on city-owned property. The hodgepodge of trees and bushes reached at least 10 feet high in some locations, Director of Public Works Kenneth C. Gilbert said.
Without the landscaping, all that separates the small yards of the Sherman Avenue houses from the highway is a gray concrete-block wall that averages about three to four feet high.
The existing wall “is a disaster,” Gilbert said, adding that it is crumbling in some areas.
Many Sherman Avenue residents agreed, saying the low wall does nothing to protect them from traffic noise or the gazes of passersby. One resident said pedestrians have been taking shortcuts through his yard and over the wall.
The city would also benefit from replacing the wall with a higher and more attractive wall, Gilbert said. But the estimated $150,000 to $200,000 needed to build an eight- to 10-foot-high wall is not included in this year’s city budget.
The city may ask the homeowners to pay part or all of the cost, which would total about $9,000 for each household, Gilbert said.
Councilman Scott Montgomery has said he opposes asking residents to contribute to the payment for a new wall. City officials will attempt to meet with the homeowners soon to discuss alternatives, he said.