San Francisco issues a $1402 fine for a Little Library

Originally published at: San Francisco issues a $1402 fine for a Little Library | Boing Boing


NIMBYs and the San Francisco bureaucracy work together like nowhere else on the planet. It’s the pettiness that brings them together.


Also, came here for this, as I had a feeling:

Lower Pacific Heights neighborhood


Over a thousand bucks for a permit is pretty outrageous, but I do wish the headline were more accurate: it’s not a fine.


Everything in SF is hyper concentrated, including the NIMBYs


It’s ridiculous that anyone would get upset by this unless it’s actually blocking pedestrian (or wheelchair?) traffic, but the bench and library do appear to be on the public sidewalk rather than on her private property. Looks like if she altered the wrought iron fence and hedge a bit it would be easy to make the front of the library flush with her property line. Guess that couldn’t be done with the bench with that retaining wall there though.

Edit to add: just looked up the house on Google street view (2416 Pine St, SF) and it’s a lovely place. Just to the right of the library in the image above it looks like she crocheted a sweater for the city tree in the sidewalk. Wonder if her neighbor narc’d on her for that as well.


Likely that moves her retaining wall in addition to rerouting the wrought iron fencing. The Retaining wall will require further permitting.

My shelf is inset and I gave up space in my yard for it, albeit space a lemon tree doesn’t miss. I did hear one neighbor complaint about not wanting to attract people looking for free things – but good grief this is Los Angeles.


So, not a fine, and she also hasn’t had to pay it. Solid news reporting there.


Right? The ultimatum never should have happened in the first place, but if they haven’t paid anything out AND the city is not pursuing the money AND the city is working on changing the laws to allow for these kinds of installations… that’s not something worth a clickbait-y headline.

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I thought the same thing when I read it. But then again, when you’re wealthy, a “fine” is really just a permit fee for being an asshole. So when an exorbitant permit fee is required for a so-called minor encroachment (motivated by good citizenship), the distinction gets muddied for me!


Fine = pay money, stop doing thing; Permit = pay money, KEEP DOING thing. So yeah, wealthy folks often have enough money to essentially turn fines into permit fees.

But in this case it’s an actual permit fee — which is much better! And I figure the headline should reflect that.

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This isn’t a newspaper…


maybe im off base here, but the homeowner did have to raise the issue with the city to get them to suspend the payment ( nice that the city listened to them, which might be it’s own example of how power works )

but, i don’t know. the headline seems just fine.

sorry, sorry. it was sitting right there … :cat2:


Yeah, I think you’re missing my point. Permit me (heh) to explain: if it were a fine, you’d be expected to pay it, and take down the offending structure, otherwise you’d be fined again. Since it’s a permit, you’d pay the fee, be allowed to keep the formerly-offending structure in place, and now actually have the city on your side when other no-fun-niks complained.

The fee for the permit is outrageous, but it’s not nearly as bad as a fine of the same amount!

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Simpsons Thats The Joke GIF


there we go. now we’re on the same page :wink:


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