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Should Phonehenge West be Saved?

By • May 28, 2011 •  Selected Work 

Alan Kimble Fahey has spent the last 30 years building a 20,000-square-foot labyrinth of buildings, called Phonehenge West, in Acton, an unincorporated census-designated place in Los Angeles County, California.

Unfortunately, Fahey never got a permit and the Los Angeles County enforcers are now demanding that Phonehenge West be torn down, because of many building and fire code violations.

The district attorney has charged Fahey with 14 criminal misdemeanor counts of maintenance of unpermitted properties and unlawful use of land.

A trial started yesterday and Fahey faces possible prison sentence up to seven years!

Phonehenge West is literally an exceptional place, something between art and architecture. Will it be enough to help Fahey keep his 30-year work?

Follow the story on the Save Phonehenge West Facebook page!

Photos by Genaro Molina, RuggyBearLA and courtesy of Alan Kimble Fahey
Via latimes

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114 Comments to Should Phonehenge West be Saved?

  1. Kim Fahey says:

    Hey Eric… Kim Fahey here from Phonehenge West.

    Look, sure I’m some kind of fun story for most people, and I get that. Let me fill you in on the real story. Out of twelve families that started out with us, unified to fight the County and their vast powers and resources, WE”RE THE ONLY ONES LEFT!!! All the rest have already packed up and moved. Broken to bits by the insidious tactics of County officials and the judicial system that works hand in hand to accomplish their goals. And what is this goal? TO TAKE OVER PROPERTIES FROM POOR PEOPLE WHO DON’T HAVE THE RESOURCES TO FIGHT BACK! I’m no different except for one thing. I have a big mouth. Sorry, but that’s the only reason we haven’t succumbed.

    I go back to court today at the Antonovich court house in Lancaster, California. Right now, I’m getting hammered by a stream of county inspectors and suits from regional planning. Fine. The Prosecution always goes to bat first. When I get on the stand, I’m going to tell the true story of what is transpiring in the high desert…

    Here’s a hypothetical situation that unfortunately happens every day of the week out here. Say your a young couple who’s just starting out in the world. You want a garden, room for your kids to play, and, maybe a horse! Wow! Who wouldn’t. You come out to Acton from the big city, love it, then, with the assistance of a realtor, you pay out ten thousand an acre for five acres ( Please keep track of the math, I’m lousy at it ) So, for $50,000, your on your way to a new ranch! Next stop, a building permit. While you go for that, your spouse or partner goes to look at modular homes, since, that’s all that’s in your meager budget. When you meet back at the city house, getting packed for your move, the agony begins.

    “Building and safety says we can’t get a permit to build until we have a well that produces 3 gallons a minute for twenty four hours”! Huh? What does this mean? IT MEANS AT LEAST ANOTHER FIFTY GRAND! Oh yeah baby, and, this turd really starts to stink big time with what comes next.

    Our city folks get a taste of county reality. If not in the town center, your on your own water source. Your not aware of this fact, remember, your still thinking you’ll actually pull it off. So, since Acton has boulders the size of Volkswagons in the ground everywhere (Check out Vasquez Rocks park) then, after ninety foot down, SOLID GRANITE, hope where the county says you can drill has water. Oh, you had that guy out with the bounce back satellite imaging for two grand looking for the water, he even found some. A local Navajo is ever better. He finds the best source of all with witching sticks. He charged five hundred. Sorry, you can’t drill in those spots. THE COUNTY SAYS SO. You end up going with the spots they allow, then, arrange for the drilling rig to come out…

    I have to take a break here. I start laughing out loud at this joke that’s played out like some sick sitcom… Alright, I’m back.

    The driller informs you after checking out the spot the county approves of, your going to need a, BIG FAT ROAD GRADED TO SAID SPOT. Drilling rigs are huge my friend, and, like an air craft carrier, they don’t travel alone. How would I know? I’m from here. I’ve worked dozens of rigs since grade school on up. You roll back to the county offices and fill them in. Their response, “Well, this will have to go to regional planning”! Pretend your turning the pages of an imaginary calender. No, better make that two. TWO YEARS OF THIS FIASCO…..Heard enough? Can’t take any more, ‘Cut to the chase’, as they say in Hollywood…..NO HOUSE. EVER…..Oh, add two hundred grand to that bill.

    Call me at my home number if you think this is some fairy tale. Kim Fahey… Edit:Kim’s phone number removed for privacy reasons. I’ll call you back as soon as I’m out of court…

    • Eric says:

      I admire your work Kim and you can be assure of my support!

      That being said, there is nothing fun in your story. I’ve learned a lot from my adventures in the French court system (yeah, I’m a French guy), and honestly, I’m not sure that what you’ve just pointed out will be of any help in your case.

      From my perspective, you have spent a few decades working on the Phonehenge West project without a permit, and you are smart enough to understand the risks.

      What is done is done, and even if County officials were obviously negligent in enforcing the code, law is on their side.

      How to find a reasonable settlement position to save the parties, Phonehenge West and the court? That’s the only question to ask yourself.

      Hopefully the media coverage will help find an answer…

    • MARY SMITH says:

      HI KIM WHAT A PLACE, THOSE PEOPLE IN HIHG PLACES NEED TO TAKE NOTES FROM ALL OF YOU. WHAT DO THEY WANT TPO PUT THERE A MALL MABE. LISTEN IF EVERONE LIVED LIKE YOU GUY THE WORLD WOULD BE A MUST BETTER PLACE AT LEAST MOTHER NATURE WOULD LOVE ITR . YOU HAVE MY SUPPORT.

    • Tula says:

      I think the structure is pretty remarkable! When did building things get out of the hands of so many ordinary men and women who built this country? Have we all forgotten what it means to be American?

      Denying you the right to your home and self-expression is the kind of oppression that we wag our finger to other countries about.

      As long as the house is safe and doesn’t put people or the environment at risk, stand firm! There are a lot of ordinary Americans right behind you.

    • Emelyn says:

      I applaud you for standing up to the bureaucracy….they’ve known you’ve been building for 30 years and now they want to come after you?..you’re right, all the red tape that goes on in getting permits is ridiculous…what you have gone through sounds like the left hand doesn’t know what the right hands is doing…and why wait so long after you’ve invested all this effort and love into building your home…it’s our property…

  2. Joyce Hart says:

    Hi Kim,

    I hope you continue to keep up the fight! An absolute travesty what county officials do to harass people. You need to defend your abode in the name of “art”. After all, all kinds of things have been passed as art – and yours absolutely is ART! Good luck to you – I hope you win in the end.

  3. Priscilla Cook says:

    Ok so what exactly is the big deal? The home the operative word here HOME is perfect. I love it when people express themselves in a possitive way. Send him to jail just because his home is not up to your standards. Sham on you people before you drop the bullet on him go out there and review what has been done and help him fix it. But to send him to jail just because you fail to see what he has done is awesome. That is shamful that you treat people this way.

    • rfr317 says:

      you right, when are they going to do something about how the inside of my apartment look or how the roads look or how old building look and how bad they need painting

  4. Misty Autumn Reeves says:

    WOW, amazing……………I am rooting for you …..go get those SOBs. Just imagine if our ancestors had to do this, no huts, no dolmens, no log cabins, no homes period.

    • Justin says:

      Our ancestors wouldn’t have to do this because there were so few of them. Don’t you notice a correlation here? CA vs WY; NYC vs NY state; incessant regulation vs FREEDOM??

      Wherever you cram thousands of people into a square mile, you will give up your freedoms, because your happiness might interfere with theirs. EG this house catches on fire, and the neighbors 100 ft away lose all their possessions because of it, your septic is set too close to their well, your loud music costs someone sleep, etc etc.

      So if all you commenters (-Tex) don’t like it, then stop breeding like rabbits, or at least move to a place where there are no codes. Stories like this are why I am childless in VT. Actually I take that back, stay in CA and TX, we don’t need more people and their accompanying laws in the NE woods.

  5. Mrs. Daniel says:

    Isn’t control just the best? This world isn’t about common sense and reality but CONTROL AND THE ALL MIGHTY $$$$
    and WHO’S HAND IS IN WHO’S POCKET. ISN’T THE ESTABLISHMENT JUST PEACHY.

    Hey, God love ya! I so hope you can just be let alone to live as you so choose to live. If your not impinging on anyones elses way of life, why not?

    Respect your neighbors and that should be enough. Creativity can then be boundless from there. Or MAYBE….your neighbor is one of the permit guys???$$$$$$$

  6. mateo says:

    These people have created a work of art at Phonehenge West ! This place should be recognized for what it is . We cannot stand by and watch the cold machine of government grind them in the gears of their machine . This place should be given a museum status . Let’s start calling the county officials there and see what a little public pressure can do .Best wishes from Texas .

  7. Michael Smith says:

    They all sound like a bunch of criminals, I’m talking about the city, county an state departments, you have been there 30 years you should be grandfathered in, an they the powers that be should leave you alone

  8. Armando says:

    I remember once when this type of self reliance, eccentric-ism would have been cajoled and appreciated but in a country where the Supreme Court has ruled that the govt can take your property to give it to a higher taxed resident nothing is sacred anymore. Ammo up!

  9. Bob Keith says:

    Well it’s a darn good thing these “officials” weren’t around in Pioneer days, else none of us would be here. I can see some regulation necessary in neighborhoods, where a house might put another house in danger. But this is a whole ‘nother story. And it’s just WRONG. This house isn’t even dangerous.

    More power to you, Kim. Even if you lose (I hope not!), you got your message out loud and clear.

    What a crock.

  10. Dave says:

    Hi Kim,

    SO sorry you have to go through this! My wife and I hope to someday buy property and build a timberframe structure on it from the trees I will harvest of the property. As I do more and more research on this, it becomes clearer and clearer that we are owned as members of this empire and are losing our right to live clean, off the grid and free from the “forced needs” we as a society have been brainwashed to think we need. I guess it makes sense, if everyone was to produce their own energy, drink their own water, and grow their own food, and build their own home, the rich who run this country would no longer be rich! And they know it! And they are going to fight it till their death!

    I wish you well, may you prevail over the machine!

    Dave

  11. Evelin says:

    i think this house is enormous!!!! awesome!!! and definetly needs to stay!! doesnt everyone say we need to recycle? go green? this house is just like it AND MORE!!!! call the white house and let them see it!! CALIFORNIA!!! You use the most energy so let this house be an example how we should recycle!!!

    • william says:

      call california gov office,or go above,,,call white house,if that dont work supreme court,if that dont work amnesty international,if that dont work,united nation,,,or solar system enforcement,,,or milky way law and order,,,if that dont work, call the starship enterprise,,,you want captain kirk,,,or jean luc picard.i love your house,im thinking,call cal real estate board,,,dont they write the cal civil code,,,but if they change the law,for you,then they will have to give everybody,the same way around code enforcement.cal civil code enforcement,writes the code…this house is not worth going to jail for.we love your house.go on television,ask for public support

  12. karrie says:

    Art is the only freedom left. I am with you – keep fighting – how can we let all our freedoms go? Declare it a church maybe?

  13. The biggest argument the city officials have is fire code violations;

    well he could just remove all paint, spray wood with special metal salts like No-Burn sells, they keep wood from burning, so those gov’ jerks would have one less thing to complain about.

  14. GERALD says:

    BEST OF LUCK…..YOUR GOING TO NEED IT. THATS HOW THE LAWYERS KEEP GETTING PAID. NO CARE WHO WINS OR LOSES… JUST KEEP STIRRING THE POT.

  15. Theresa Healton says:

    Hi Kim Fahey, I just want to drop a line to say I’m sorry to hear about all the problems you’re currently going through. I think what you have built is most Interesting and beautiful. I live in Northern C.A. and if you have a petition that I could sign, I would be more than happy to sign it. I truly hope all works out for you and your wife, what they are putting you through is just wrong. I have many friends that have found them selves in this type of situation, some lost their property and a few had the money to fight. I don’t know if you have started a petition or not, but if you haven’t you may want to try that route also. I will send it around along with the story and photo’s of your beautiful place, I know many of my friends and family will sign it. I will keep you in our prayers, remember God does work. I know it’s a hard time for you and your wife, but do your best to keep faith. Please contact on yahoo, that’s where I read your story. My very best to you both, and the best of luck to you. Theresa Healton P.s I will bookmark this page as well, hopefully I will hear from you regarding the petition, Theresa.

  16. Tex says:

    Sorry, but this building is just crap. It’s an eyesore. It’s not to code, you didn’t get permits and you didn’t follow the laws that you knew were in place. What did you expect? I admit that the code people are jerks; we have plenty here in Texas. But if you don’t follow the law you can’t gripe when they crack that whip. At least build something that is pleasant to look at. I don’t care what anyone says, the only reason someone would want to take photos of this place is because it’s hideous. If your intent was to make the county change then you should have done it in a professional manor and fought them in court first. I’m sick and tired of hearing people gripe because they don’t get what they want, yet what they want is illegal!
    And as far as your water story goes, the buyer should have done their homework and made sure your can build your ranch, and check for water before you ever bought the property. How could you ever buy land with the intent of living on it and not know if you have access to water and electricity? In this case they are at fault for being idiots.

    • Mari says:

      that’s pretty harsh, and aesthetics are person by person. Personally I think this house is beautiful and even as I was looking through I thought to myself, “I wish I could buy a house like this!” It’s like living in a tree fort for adults, and I don’t think it’s ugly at all. Everything looks professional (artistic, yes, but hardly like they just cobhobbled things together) and quite lovely.

    • Harry says:

      You state the obvious…he should’a this and should’a that. Can you think of nothing constructive to say? Or are you a jealous jerk?

    • Fexas says:

      Leave it to someone named ‘Tex’ to support conformity. A home that involves this level of individuality and creativity must scare the living daylights out of him. Stay calm, climb in your suburban and quickly drive to the mall, get a mocha and breathe your shallow breathes.

      • Tex says:

        “get a mocha and breathe your shallow breathes”, you obviously don’t know Texans. If it don’t come from the pot we don’t drink it. You must be thinking about all of the transplants from out of state.
        This has nothing to do with conformity. It’s about commonsense, and lack there of. If the owners only wanted to hear praise then they shouldn’t have put this out for the entire world to see. As for art, if this was built next to your home it would lower your appraisal value. I find beating around the bush only prolongs ones stupidity. If you let them know upfront and fast that what they are doing is ignorant then it’s constructive. But if you sugar coat things it just prolongs it.

      • Fexas says:

        Actually, it would increase my home value as my home was also built out of what you would call “ignorance”. These folks didn’t “put this out there” as they’ve been creating going on 30 years as the story describes. So your very keen, “up front” and “fast” advice only serves to expose your BIG opinion of yourself. Keep your useless, “constructive” criticism for your fellow “natives”. I’m sure they just love all the valuable wisdom you provide.

    • jackie says:

      Hey tex, Ever watch An Officer & A GENTLEMAN ? It describes Texans as “steers and queers” which one are you? (probably a Bush supporter AKA: JACKASS )
      These people worked their butts off to express themselves through their house If you don’t appreciate their choice of art no one asked you to come out of your cow manure infested state & look at it. The state screwed up by not stopping construction in time. I say LET THEM ENJOY THEIR PALACE! I’m with ERIC and KIM on this one I wish you guys success !!!!! We need LESS GOVERNMENT

      • Tex says:

        Jackie, yes I am a Bush supporter. You’ve got to be kidding me? Steer & QUEERS? Really? You must not pay attention to the economic data. Your post shows your maturity level. So what you are saying is because the officials didn’t stop them before they broke the law they should let the get away with it? So then the cereal rapist should be set free because the police didn’t stop him/her after the first victim? Ignorance of the law is not a defense.
        They knew they were in violation and built it anyways. But hey, it’s California. You all do some weird stuff anyways. Oh, and by the way. It’s no bull, I’m all steer!

    • teacbee says:

      Well Tex, you don’t exactly sugar coat things do you? ;) While I can sympathize with the plight of the owners here, there is the valid point that this building was illegal from the start. It completely sucks that Kim had to experience the water/road fiasco, but proper research IS a part of plopping down $50k on an investment property. There was always the option to sell decades before and build this contraption somewhere it’s legal to do so. If you have the money/talent to build a fortress from a dirt lot, surely you’re not too destitute to find other (legal) accomodations. Pride is the issue here & there’s no humility in accepting that they’ve broken the law, consistently, for years. What they’ve built is awesome and may be a work of art to some, but the fact is they knew it was outside of code guidelines & can’t be upset that those laws are now being enforced. I hope all parties can come to some sort of agreement but I’m happy to see gov’t officials actually, uniformly enforcing the law everyone else has to live by. It’s a valiant concept that seems lost nowadays…

      • JenC54 says:

        While you and Tex are correct that they have broken the law by not getting proper permits and not building to code the fact that the town and county continued to let them do so for 20 years or more without enforcing their rules and laws leaves a sour note in my mind. They should have enforced everything from the beginning, seeings they didn’t ,to the tune of 20 years, they are at fault and the homeowners should not have to pay for their irrespondsible behavior. I’m with the homeowners for that reason alone.

    • Tex the Idiot says:

      Tex is a joke. if you dont like someones house and think it’s an “eyesore then move. Its simple. This is just another story about how we are loosing more and more freedom. The problem is there are too many idiots around here who think its there business what your house looks like, and its there business how up to code it is. if someone wants to live in an odd house that may not be as safe then let them. Its no difference then most summer beach houses in this country.

      For all you morons out there including city officials and idiots like Tex. What someone does on their property or to their house is none of your business you nosie pieces of crap.

      As for the water on the property guy. Take the City to court and say the city laws are breaking a state law. It works and I won. The town where I live had to change there “You can only dig where we want you to dig and build where we want you to build even though you own the property” policy

      • Tex says:

        LOL, and you call me an idiot? Did you read your post? At least this idiot knows the difference between THERE and THEIR. And if I’m an idiot I guess the guy that built this ILLEGAL home is even dumber! My home is to code and legal.
        Now to the meat of your post. No one said that he couldn’t build it. He didn’t give them the time they needed to process the paper work. I’m not saying the county is morally right. But what I am saying is he knew you have to wait for them to say yes or no. He didn’t wait. He isn’t above the law. THERE are procedures in place to fight these laws. And if you do it the right way it can work for you. But this guy decided not to do that. As for safety, I could give to turds if it’s safe for him. If he wants to raise his family is a home that could hurt/kill one of his family members so be it, that’ll be on his head. What people do on their property IS the business of their neighbors if you buy in a subdivision that has restrictions. Now I would be willing to bet he doesn’t have that issue, I was just pointing out another error in your rant.
        Now for the personal digs. You can call me all the names you want. This is the internet and EVERYONES a tuff guy on the net. And if it makes you feel good about yourself go for it. But just so you know, when you resort to name calling and misspell the simplest words it only makes YOU look stupid.

      • On the Level says:

        This response is directed to “Tex’ regarding his comment on the grammar of “Tex the Idiot”.

        Funny that you, Tex, should be critical of someone’s grammar, having included in your post at 3:38pm the words “cereal rapist.” Now, I suppose that might cause someone to reflect back on the earlier “steers or queers” comment and wonder what the heck goes on in your neck of the woods, but really that is your business. And in the unincorporated area around Acton, how Kim builds his house should be more deferential to his own preference.

        Yes, building codes are necessary and certainly important in more densely populated areas. But building codes also provide a false sense of professionalism. As someone who is currently renovating a 25 year old house, located in one of the most strictly codified district of my metropolitan area, I have found the building codes to be seriously lacking in good engineering sense, revealing age-driven design failure requiring remediation and unnecessary expense. Going outside the guidelines of the building code, I have upgraded my house to exceed the performance as originally designed. The cost, if incorporated at the time of original construction, would have been modest, certainly far less than the remediation, and provided a safer house. There are limits to which one can bolster an argument such as yours, by standing on the “officiousness” of building codes.

    • Perry Way says:

      You deserve your final shower to be of the Nazi variety since you bow down and worship the fascist state.

    • Theresa Healton says:

      Tex, I must say you are way out of line. Just because you don’t feel the place is beautiful, doesn’t mean that it isn’t. Your opinion is just that, an opinion and a bad one at that. Further more the man and his wife are going through enough, without your nasty holier than thou comments. I so happen to live in California and have most of my life, with that being said this state is all about money. You act like this man did something terrible, so he built HIS dream house and poor little Tex doesn’t like it. So you think it should be torn down because it’s not your style, sad how you think. This could be you, code enforcement is not the only way the government can take your home. Try a little compassion as you may need some one day.

  17. Brian says:

    My personal opinion is that you guys should be left alone. Most “crimes” in this country have a statue of limitations, as you continued to build the home, I’m quite sure someone had plenty of time to mention to you that the home was out of code. Unlike in Europe, where everyone is conditiond to goverment oversite, in the US we tend to view goverment in a “catch me if you can” mentaility. Why enforce the code now when they have had so many opertunities to do so in the past?

    Understandably they want to make sure things are “safe” but at what point does it become simply red tape and buracratic nonsense?

    Sounds like they are just trying to keep all those hard working buracrats down at city hall employed.

    I’m rooting for you guys, good luck!

  18. Jack Carson says:

    This is NOT some “Ramshackle” old building! There has been a lot of thought, preparation,blood, sweat and tears put into the construction of this HOME. Who the hell gives the state of California the right to decide what a man and his family can do to provide for themselves.

  19. DAVID JONES says:

    LOOK LEAVE HIM AND HIS WIFE AND SON ALONE LET HIM BE HE TOOK THE TIME TO BUILD IT AND NOW YOU GUYS WANT TO TEAR IT DOWN WHY ??????/????? BECAUSE YOU ARE NOT GETTING ANY MONEY LET HIM BE

  20. Dan Cheffer says:

    Stay Strong- Hope you win this one. Wonderful house!

  21. hugo montoya says:

    hi kim, aren’t code regulations for standard construction?, are any telephone poles standard construction codes that they have? if not it seems pretty descriminting. I can’t believe they waited 20 years to put into effect their own rules, have they neglected 20 years to tell you you should demolishied your place, that is quite an overlooked of the law, they should be charged with total negligence on their public duities. they don’t have anyright at this time. your hose looks great,
    hugo

  22. Maurice says:

    Well looking at your creation, I am rather surprised no-one at your city council thought of listing it as a tourist attraction. Your work is in the line of “Le Palais Idéal” from Ferdinand Cheval (France), “Bishop Castle” (Rye Colorado) or even the Watts Towers there in Los Angeles. I hope that common sense will pevail and the authorities will see the potential of your creation.

  23. Charlene says:

    What a work of art —- this poor soul is hurting no one. The State needs to let him be. From one designer to another — hold your ground on your art —- it’s just jealousy of the less talented.

  24. Billy says:

    Obvious code violations can be seen throughout the place in just photos alone. Say the son has a party and 30 teenagers are killed. Then everyones wondering- “Why didn’t someone make them tare that down?” I like to use reclaimed wood, re-purposed materials, and a general ‘hodge-podge’ of materials myself, but code enforcement is put in place for safety factors, and must be acknowledged. Bottom line.

  25. Scott Flora says:

    It is really sad that we are told what we can put on our property after paying for it. We as people need to stand up to the officials who want to controll what we do with our property and how we want to live. I say keep fighting and I will sighn any petition standing up for our freedom to live as we want.

  26. Rene' says:

    Next time you purchase land, hire a Realtor that is a “Land Specialist”. They ususally know the costs invloved, have current knowledge of building codes, well depths int he area, etc., and would have had a “feasability” study period written into your contract. Good Luck!

  27. Thomas W. Rogers says:

    Circle the Wagons…oops I mean Circle Phonehenge…stand in front of the Tanks, Oops I mean stand in front of the Bulldozers…. Submit it as a Piece of Art in Progress. This is America, not Communist China.

    • Buck says:

      Thomas, are you sure this wouldn’t be better received in China? In our race to become a true third world country, let’s not underestimate our stupidity. The days of Charles Kuralt doing a colorful piece on this project are long gone. That being said, I loved the “stand in front of the bulldozers” comment.

  28. beto says:

    What need to be asked is which city developer is lining the district attorneys pockets to get this guy off his land.

  29. JustPassinThru says:

    At least some of us listen when instructed to “Just be yourself”. I think your problem is that your logic, like the home you’ve built, is simply too sound.

    Don’t let the bastards beat you!

  30. Samuel Verbiese says:

    Dear Kim,
    When I discovered the picture in Yahoo news I immediately felt amazed, as all previous people who here expressed empathy for a true Artist in Architecture (but Tex, obviously a poor nut deprived of any sense for the exceptional, like your sudden tormentors of the county, jealous enough of your accomplishments !)
    I believe you will prevail : there are enough bright minds in this nation, even rich ones ! that will jump at your side. I’ve always been told that in America you must show what you can, and you brilliantly did !
    Just look with immense sadness at the thousands of ‘regular’ homes now flattened by tsunamis and tornados, at the expensive power plants underdesigned by greed that put thousands at harm. If you ever have to sit prison for your ‘crimes’, I hope you have the strength to remain proud of it, in front of all the misery ‘civilization’ has brought to us.
    Most respectful,
    from Belgium

    • Tex says:

      Samuel, jealous I’m not. Conformist I’m not. When put in a situation where I felt I was wronged I fought back. I know true art when I see it. Things like the 57 Chevy, 16th chapel, or the Eiffel tower, those are works of art. A bunch of telephone poles tied together is not. Not only is it not art, but it’s a health hazard. Do you know what and how these poles are treated with? These poles are old. That means they all are packed with toxic chemicals. If to be an artist means you live without commonsense then so be it, I’m no artist. And let me reassure you, I’m in no way jealous of this mans home.

      • Huh? says:

        LOL, and you call me an idiot? Did you read your post? At least this idiot knows the difference between THERE and THEIR.
        ” I could give to turds if it’s safe for him.” I’m pretty sure it’s two as in 2, not to. I’m just sayin.

      • Also Texan says:

        What the heck is the 16th chapel? Is that a trailer park version of the Sistine Chapel? DOH!

  31. Matteo says:

    Hello,
    I am an architecture graduate student, I do not have much to comment except that I do admire your work and wish you the best of luck. Most building codes were created because a hundred years ago material and zoning behaved much differently and I tell you, they need to be upgraded. Autoclave concrete (ACC) forms were approved and used in the Netherlands for decades before they were approved in the US. It took someone with some courage to challenge the officials and make them realize how strong, fireproof, and light, well insulating it was. Now it is approved. You should argue that you want to make part of your compound a site for the AIA and encourage young architecture students to come out to execute building workshops and study how you reclaimed the materials. Also to study the materials and make it a small research site for architecture. I think you would have something great to offer. Best of luck.

  32. Lynora says:

    I think that Phonehenge is absolutely beautiful! I pray that you win your battle! Good luck!

  33. BETTY says:

    WHY ARE THEY COMPLAINING NOW ????????
    YES YOU NEED TO PAY TO GET A PAPER AND PAY, THAT IS WHAT THEY WANT NOW. BECAUSE THEY ARE NOT GETTING ANY MONEY, LET HIM BE………………….

  34. Teresa says:

    art is in the eye of the beholder, I love it. It shows individualism, artistic display, thought, and ingenuity. The question is, should one have to have a permit on PRIVATE property? Dont you already pay taxes on that? Tough question, I say no on permits cuz you pay taxes. Using, reusing, recycling are what is at work here and I am all for it. Best of luck to you ..
    PS.. I am sure this man would not put his family in danger and build a half assed safe building. Just sayin….

  35. Chris says:

    Ita About time for Americans to take back this Country we have let these city and goverment officials make up all the rules and they don’t even follow them if we are a free people then it is time to be free! if this is your land then post no trespassing and apply for land patent and take back what they are trying to steal from you!ARE WE COMMUNIST?

  36. Judith says:

    Whatever the actual code violations of the building in its present condition, give them a list of things to be done to rectify them & a reasonable time to fix them within their means, before you do anything drastic. I am not there so I cannot see for myself & I am not an inspector so even if I were there I may not see a safety issue, but if safety is the only issue then they should have a reasonable chance to fix it. Personally, I think the house is fantastic. It is definately a work of art. Write your congressman & senator, heck, write the president. People all over the country are supporting you. If you have any petitions to sign, I would be happy to sigh & so would all my family. Good Luck. Ps you should print the comments & take them to court so they can be put into evidence.

  37. Marty says:

    What exactly is this house endangering? Code enforcement is for the most part arbitrary, trivial and meaningless, the way I experience it with inspectors in my neck of the woods. They tag your property “do not occupy” because the oven is not working, or one window is broken on the porch. How many other houses have a non-working oven in the entire city at the time yours is inspected and found unfit for that condition? Plenty, common sense will tell you. But those homes are okay, they are not tagged unfit for habitation simply because they are not being inspected at the moment. Even when the same condition (non-working oven) exists in them, they are fine. You have to fix the oven so that your house will pass inspection. In the meantime, you know that your neighbor’s oven currently is not working, and his house is perfectly safe. So in your mind you know the whole code enforcement thing is a farce. And don’t even ask since when is a house unfit for human habitation because of a non-working oven. This man’s house is his domain; examine the codes that he is in violation of and fix them. It’s maybe the codes that need fixing, not his house.

  38. Gary says:

    Great place, I’m in Lancaster, maybe 20 mins away. I’m looking for directions to the place. I’d like to drive by. You could do a bed & breakfast and be rich. Let me know, I’ll buy a night or two.

  39. Jonathan says:

    I personally agree that the nanny state is out of control. But the building codes are there in part because after every calamity people demand that government do something. That “something” typically chips away at our freedoms and costs us more money. On the other hand, maybe a deck should be able to support as many people as you can crowd onto it, and maybe a house fire shouldn’t spread so fast that you can’t get out. The world is not all black and white.

  40. Aitch says:

    Having reviewed all comments as well as the rigmarole of the owners’ attempt to build legally, it seems to me that the principle reason that needs to hold sway here is safety. While we may disparage building codes and bureaucracy they are put in place to ensure the safety of current and future owners as well as community members. We have all seen renovation shows where floors/walls etc. are opened up only to reveal joists that have been cut or with precious little holding up structural elements that could collapse at any moment. Remember the terrible story of the balcony party that resulted in terrible injuries to the revellers when it fell to the ground from two storeys up with no warning? Permits and inspections are designed to prevent terrible accidents like that – art and artistic expression notwithstanding. The next owner of this property requires a safe and secure water supply do they not? They need assurances that their property is structurally sound and will withstand both normal and severe weather conditions. I agree that landowners should have the right to build on their property but any structure built as a permanent home needs to meet safety and habitation standards to ensure it works as a home now and into the future.

    • Stephen Eric Reynolds says:

      Those that give up Freedom for security deserve neither!
      This is NOT an unscrupulous contractor, This is a man exercising
      his freedom to build his dream!

      Go live in your boring safe antiseptic world, strangled by rules
      to keep you safe, and you will still end up dead at the end of your life..
      The only question is how much of a life have you had…

      But that is your choice to live in bondage and call it safety…
      Don’t tell others how safe they have to be according your standards,,
      or worse yet, Government standards…

  41. Mike says:

    How dare someone tell an American How they can live and love life, art, beauty…
    Im behind you! Love your place and it shows your spirituality!
    KEEP UP THE FIGHT FOR WHAT IS RIGHT. Bet there is some big land owner that wants to develop somewhere close huh?

  42. Nushen says:

    Hello to Tex and the others,

    Tex, if you want to criticize someone else’s spelling, please don’t write “cereal” killer when you mean “serial” killer.

    I saw the Phonehenge West story while having my morning cereal in Beijing and was intrigued. After logging onto this site and seeing all of the comments, I can see that Phonehenge West has succeeded in touching upon some of the core values we Americans hold dear: independence, freedom of expression, right to private property, our right to have a government that serves us and not itself…among others.

    I am an American who has been living in China for the past 20 years. No, I am not a communist. I came here for one year as a grad student and then decided to stay. Time just passed and, well, I’m still here. I work in business, like most of the 200k+ foreigners in this town.

    The so-called freedom that the American government says Americans enjoy seems like a lot of propaganda to me. Over the past 20 years I’ve seen U.S. leaders who were not elected take high office. Those same high-level officials maintained close financial ties to terrorists and arms dealers. The biggest U.S. anti-war protests in modern history did not stop the government from entering a prolonged and expensive overseas war. Who owns the companies making arms in the U.S.? Our economy is in a shambles, etc., etc. And we’re supposed to think we’re “free”. I just read in Wikipedia that the U.S. has the largest population of incarcerated citizens in the world. Free? Who runs these prisons?

    If Kim were in China, he could build anything he wanted. All he would have to do is make nice-nice with the local officials (dinners, gifts, etc.), and he would be able to build anything. The poor people here, however, are shoved around because they lack the money and connections to do whatever they want.

    I’m wondering if it’s any different in the U.S.? The rich have power, the poor do not. How is that different from any other place in the world? In China, Kim’s story would not even make it to the media. If he made too big of a fuss about it, he’d be put in jail. That’s how it’s different here.

    It seems to me that it’s not a question of whether or not the building is beautiful. If it has been there for 30 years, Kim has a valid right to fight for his property. Is it safe? That is another question. I am not a builder. I do not know and would not venture to guess. When I look at photos of U.S. properties decimated by tornadoes, the first thing that comes to mind is that the government should encourage the the creation of affordable, tornado-proof structures in tornado-prone areas.

    But I digress.

    In China, if the govt wants to take away your land to sell to a rich developer or build a road or whatever, the owner has a right to compensation.

    Kim, if they’re intent upon tearing you down, get as much as you can out of it! Photograph every part of your place, measure every square foot and get the govt to pay you per square foot. If they didn’t want you to build it they should have stopped you 30 years ago when you laid the first planks.

    Keep your story in the media. Make a lot of noise, Kim. They cannot put you in prison for expressing yourself and demanding your right to “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Good luck!

    • On the Level says:

      Americans have the right to compensation for their property as well.

    • Beverly Horton says:

      Sorry to say, Kim IS facing jail time! Also sorry to say he has to do so with a court appointed attorney that knows criminal law and has no experience in city codes…No…things aren’t much different here than there.

  43. Perry Way says:

    It’s time to TEAR DOWN THIS GOVERNMENT to the ground. LEAVE THIS HOME AND THESE PEOPLE ALONE!

  44. frank says:

    I bet if he were black they would leave him alone…just sayin.

  45. Stephen Eric Reynolds says:

    What a labor of love.. This is the American dream, it’s called FREEDOM !!!

    If you let this man’s castle and life be demolished a piece of heart and soul of what makes
    america great will be gone with it…

    Say NO to the anal retentive building code dream crushers

  46. Timothy Van Dell says:

    The land of the free the home of the brave. Rubbish. We have more laws than any nation anywhere. Who cares if this guys house is art or not. Who cares if the house is ugly, he likes it. It is his home and his land and the government should back off. This guys house is more than just a code violation but an example to see how really free we are. If they put him in jail for code violations than I am moving to another country. No really it is time to take a stand against big government and say back off. We don’t need you to run our lives anymore. If we want to talk about God in our schools or build a totem pole house than so be it. We our Americans who have the right to be who we want to be and express what we want to express. Now I can understand that if you are a contractor who is building a house for another person there should be a standard by which you build but come on people this guy bought the property built his own house and if it collapses on him than is his problem not the governments. As far as im concerned if this guy goes to jail we will all be in a world of trouble. Whats next. The law as TEX talks about is getting longer and longer and it is not to support the citizens of America but to keep the government going. We need to take a stand cause the law might put us in jail next for something that might not seem so ridiculous.

  47. Poogboy says:

    Wow, this is a true work of art.
    I bet this guy loves his life, too.
    (That said, I wouldn’t want to be him in an earthquake.)
    :(

  48. andy says:

    Rules are fine most of the time, but every once in awhile there has to be an exception. Nature is full of exceptions. It’s true, this house was not built to code. But on the other hand it is so unique, it would be a crime to dismantle it. I hope common sense prevails and a satisfactory solution is found, rather than degenerating into the pissing contest it is now.

    • On the Level says:

      Yep. Case by case. The unusual circumstances and attributes of this house demand extra consideration and perhaps compromise between owner and county. But the attached pictures do not really tell the whole story. It might change some folks minds to see the structure up close and personal —- which may reveal more flaws or dilapidation or more engineering genius than can be conveyed with those small photos.

  49. Sharon says:

    I wish I had a way to help you in your fight to keep your Dream Come True. I think you have a great mind and vision. I just wish the “courts” could see the beauty in it. My thought has always been that if the land is yours, you should be able to build whatever you want to on it. I would almost bet that there are some in the legal profession that wish they had the guts to do the same. All I can contribute is my best wishes for your success. My prayers are with you.

  50. Mike says:

    sorry guys,but I’m with Tex on this one.And I was raised lancaster, ca and I had lots of freinds who live in Acton,being a former “desert rat” myself..living in the mojave desert in the Antelope Valley area. You got sme crazy folks that live out in the high desert. Lol, I know I ws one of em and my parets are stll out there. Now This house is pretty awsome for a giant fort. But it is a fire hazard and was built without building permits. It may not be safe or structurally sound. So no one sad anything about it. Hell, lots of things get out of hand before anyone realizes theres something wrong. But look at some of the violations this man is facing. That house doesn’t look safe and it could fall over or hurt someone, or it could catch on fire. If people wanted to help this man, they could rebuild it. Better stronger safer. But until then the laws are put in place for a reason, and there are inspectors to enforce them. It’s not a conspiracy, no one wants to put this man out of his home, it’s just not a safe living enviroment. If they let everyone do what they want then we’d all just be building whatever we wanted wether they were structurally sound or not whih would’nt be safe. Find a better way to help this guy other than telling him it’s okay to violate building code, I’ll donate the first dollar if it can be rebuilt safely and in accordance with proper procedure and in accordance with city code and regulation.

    • chris atkinson says:

      Every house is a fire hazard…if it is on fire.

      Regarding Tex…your insight is keen…gotcha…now help Alan and Kim keep/save or fix the place.

    • Beverly Horton says:

      Perhaps, I missed it…but the charges I read in the above article were ‘unlawful use of land’ and ‘maintenance of unpermitted properties’. Exactly which of those make this ‘not a safe living environment’? I haven’t been able to find any listing of the violations…perhaps I haven’t looked in the right place…could you direct me to it?

  51. Matt says:

    The government should NOT …EVER… be allowed to tell us what we can and can’t do with our own land . I know it doesn’t always work, but the common sence of the land owner should be enough . If a person is stupid enough to build something that isn’t safe , and it falls down and kills them, well the gene pool has just been weeded out . I think your home is different , it’s a one of a kind, you have the right ( or should have ) to live however you wish , you have the right to be happy . What about all the land the ppl store there junk on . ( I take it that is ok ) we can turn our land into a dump, but not a place to live , to be free and live our lives as we see fit .

    • T says:

      The MOMA needs to intervene. This man is an American genius in assemblage art. I am really saddened by this. Gosh, those authoritie s are idiots and on a power-trip . This is when I draw the line, vote independen t, those idiot Republican /Democrat types who have a zillion rules about building on your own so-called “property” can take a hike. His place is out in the middle of nowhere. America, the home of the free. Baloney. Freedom in America is large screen TV sets that will fall apart in a year and be in a landfill, a Budlight on the back of your tailgate of your car that is owned by the bank that repossesse d your house, a day at Hooters with the kids. The jury likely consisted of these types of ignorant people. Leave the guy alone.

  52. michelle elks says:

    I love your work of art. I wishI could have a beautiful house like that.
    Your art is you. Dont let anyone take that from you. I believe in you keep up with your art .

    Praying for you and your family

  53. Judy says:

    I love it!! you all need to leave the family in peace! It’s all about what money you can get out of this family!!!

  54. Gina says:

    I have one name for the “doubting Thomases” on this board…”Bart Prince“. This is an amazing architect who builds homes and offices that defy the laws of gravity. His FIRST studio, built in Albuquerque, NM, is in an old neighborhood and spits in the face of conformance. The house is now a historical landmark, and I’d hate to even attempt to count the number of engineers who said it wouldn’t stand when it was being built.

    You all claim that FAHEY’s house is unsafe, wasn’t built to code, and “blah, blah, blah.” Furthermore, you all claim to KNOW what art is and isn’t…got news for you. Art can be anything! Its the expression or application of HUMAN creative skill and imagination (be sure you NOTE those two terms, because you obviously lack both), typically in a visual form that produces works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. By its very definition, somebody could take a crap on their front lawn and claim it to be art. So, please, “doubting Thomases,” take that argument somewhere else. This home IS a work of art…its FAHEY’s interpretation of art!

    As for Texas and all of Tex’s grandiose visions of the state, Texas is not known for much other than oil (greed), cattle (cow-shit), and piss-ants (those itty, bitty little ants that invade and infest everything). And just so that I’m not accused of “forgetting,” yes…most Texans have money (hence the oil). What Tex fails to mention with regard to his insinuation of “law-abiding” Texans is that they don’t crap in their own backyard, but gravitate to somebody else’s backyard to do their “business” and break the laws. I love New Mexico..its my “home,” and yet I don’t have enough fingers and toes to count the number of times I’d take my family to Red River, NEW MEXICO, for a vacation just to have the Texans overrun the place with their over-rated egos, their tuna-boat SUVs, their off-road vehicles, and their Taj Mahal sized campers only to leave Red River in a total shamble after their visit…garbage everywhere, trails gouged out of the landscape from their off-road vehicles, and most of all…a nasty, bitter taste in the mouth of every other visitor, resident, or storekeeper for their pompous way of stomping around this quiet, little resort town as though their crap is gold-plated and don’t stink. So, Tex, save us the speech and the “holier than thou” attitude and try using that “I don’t break the law” monologue on the people of Red River the next time you pay them a visit.

    Some of the greatest structures in this world were built by men and women who didn’t have a building permit, weren’t influenced by codes and politics, and weren’t engineers. Leave Fahey alone…at least this man has the brass balls to TRY and live outside the constraints of a life closely resembling a dictatorship by the very laws that we have put into place and the verve to refuse to be yet another sheep. Regardless of what you think of FAHEY’s house, he has something you’ll never have…GUMPTION!

  55. Donna says:

    YES, it should be saved!

    The FACTS appear to me that they tried following code. Should they have waited 30 years for code officials to give them the go ahead? It was the governments’ duty to enforce the law years ago and they neglected their duty. If you are going to uphold the law, then both parties are at fault! And really how can you even consider criminal maintenance issues until there is a decision on the unlawful use of land charges?

    This county knew they proceeded with construction years ago. They are guilty of not enforcing the law as well as the Fahey family is for breaking it. They didn’t do their job and now it is a finger pointing game. It seems to me that the statute of limitations should prevail and it should be a counter-suit against the officials for not enforcing code and allowing them to proceed. They should work together to make it a positive outcome for all. Matteo has a great idea, make it a research site at least you may get an unbiased opinion on the safety of the structure.

    We certainly don’t need more laws; we clearly need to employ more people for research and development of environmental genius creations as this is.

    I pray for justice in the true sense of the meaning, “Fairness.”

    Mr. Fahey, I would like to know if you have any neighbors because it appears the house is in the middle of nowhere.

  56. Anne says:

    Kim stated that other families were involved but left. Was this originally a commune? Why wasn’t building permits secured prior to building/ I think there are a lot of questions that need to be asked but have yet to be answered. Yes I understand there should be some freedom to do as we please with our property and build what we want. Why are they sleeping on a single air mattress and cook on a tiny stove? For such a big building I would have thought there would have been a huge bedroom to sleep in and a nice kitchen to prepare food. There hasn’t been any word from the other side (code enforcement) and somehow or another, there could be a resolution to this problem.

  57. Jacqueline says:

    I love it..Specially the Stained Glass Window..Beautiful work and keep up the fight…There is more corruption in City Permits Department then you will ever know..I used to work for a General Contractor..Money talks:)

  58. Bob Risk says:

    Interesting to see the number of folks who are all so eager to jump on the band wagon and make a critical judgement based on only one side of the story.

    To me, that’s the big issue here and part of the reason that our communities and local governments are in the state they’re in… no argument from me that they’re pretty messed up in a number of ways. But the rant’s being submitted here aren’t helpful. Take the time to find out what’s happening on both sides of the fence… take the time to find the reasons/justifications for the regulations that are in question. Put some substance in your arguments and discussion rather than just playing off of one another’s emotions and questionable sense of what’s right and fair.

    Let’s have a real discussion on this… based on actual facts.

    • Tracy says:

      Okay, How about this for fact:

      Kim TRIED to cooperate with the code enforcement in the initial stages of building. They lost his building plans and continuously gave him the run-around. They made it impossible for him to comply, when they would not would not give him the information he required. They made it impossible for him to comply when they “conveniently” lost his building plans. So they left him alone. He continued to work on his home (and/or his work of art) for thirty years. And NOW they want to tear it down? He was not allowed any expert witnesses (or any witnesses besides himself) at trial, he was not allowed to bring in his scale model of the home, nor were the jurors allowed to visit the home to tour it. How exactly is this fair and just? The law can be so twisted, especially when it comes to code enforcement. I’ll be completely honest, I do not know California statues or codes, but in New Mexico (where it can be just as shitty), the city can “make-up” a new code in order to condemn a perfectly safe and sound structure, just because it has been vacant for the past 28 years (regardless of the fact that it had been well maintained and cared for, regardless of the fact that the owner of the building had complied with fixing the cosmetic problems that the city complained about…) It is just plain ridiculous. All Code Enforcement does is promote greed and power. Those are the facts.

  59. Jennifer says:

    I have to say that Tex is right. This man built his home illegally and now wants a free pass for doing so. It isn’t that hard to take the proper steps, it is just that he decided 20 years ago that he either didn’t want to wait or didn’t want to spend the money to take them. I agree that government has taken over and we should have a right to build whatever kind of home we want on our own land, but instead of building first and asking questions later, he should have taken care of the legal or code issues before beginning construction. He knew he was breaking the law and chose to do it anyway. There are also many places left in the US, surely there were more 20 years ago when this was started, where a permit is not required to build. Maybe, knowing what he wanted to accomplish, he should have choosen his location a little more wisely.

    I do beleive this home is beautiful, and it is a shame that it might be torn down. But, he should have taken the proper steps in the beginning to ensure that his artwork would remain intact.

    I relate this story to a kid stealing cookies, and when asked about the missing cookies he acts innocent with crumbs on his face.

    • Tracy says:

      How long would you have him wait? He tried to comply, submitted building plans all to get the run-around.

    • jerry says:

      goo point on the kids stealing cookies. where are they? the government has prison terms waiting for them too I am sure….

    • mlaiuppa says:

      Uh, yes it is.

      My Dad wanted to add on to our house in a conventional manner. I think he had to redraw the same plans five times. I heard him cursing one night and he showed me. They had scribbled in big letters that he had to indicate something or other. Then he pointed and sure enough. There is was, labeled in the correct spot nice and neatly. So he had to redraw and resubmit them again.

      The permit process is so that the city can make money. It is also to discourage people from doing their own work. My Dad told me he’d see contractors there with shit for plans the didn’t get a second glance, just approved. Part of the process is to favor contractors and make sure people pay them instead of doing it themselves.

      I’ve gone through the process myself. Just for a fence. I had to go down three times. And there are several hours wait each time so you’re talking an entire day three times over the course of a few weeks.

      Then, of course, there’s the money. The reason for permits is to charge you money for the permit money for the inspection and then raise your property taxes.

      I think that’s Fahey’s problem. The city wants their money, then more, then more. And they’re using him as an example to others.

      I read their piddly complaints. Setback. Out in the middle of nowhere? He used too much wood so it’s a fire hazard. Excuse me? Too much wood? My house is built entirely of wood except for the cripple wall around the crawlspace. He didn’t meet “code”. The generic and ambiguous excuse. Part of the reason is the unconventional building technique that makes this house art. But it’s not unsafe. It’s stood for over 30 years.

      Let the guy pay the fines, issue some retroactive permits so you can collect your property tax and then leave him alone.

      Tearing down this house isn’t going to make anyone friends in L.A. County and is liable to cost the county more in law suits and bag press.

  60. Darcy Brewer says:

    Hey LA County Why don’t you mind your own business! That man ownes that land and has every right to build his home as he wants, he is not hurting anyone! That is the problem with America, we have been over run with building codes that changes all the time. I guess the county forgot who ownes the land, it’s not LA county. Tell LA you have your land & home grand fathered in ! It was their before their codes. Who’s country is it ? I think it was ours as we pay the taxes and fight to be free. Tell LA County to take a hike ! I lived in Calif. for 39 years and was glad to leave !

  61. Darcy Brewer says:

    The Government will put the owner in jail for 7 years because he built his dream home on his land, when they wont jail illegals who sells drugs and comes to our country illegally ? Go figure, who is the dummy in LA county maybe we should send him to Mexico, he wont be back . Get out of this man’s business and leave him alone ! Calif sucks.

  62. Middleground says:

    Well, here’s the crux. I think the place is beautiful, and it’s a 30-year labor of love. They bought the land and the materials used to make the house. They have a working well. On the other hand, they started to build it – and continued to work on it for 30 years – without the necessary permits.

    If this were some sort of government witchhunt, that would be one thing. If the government were just after these folks because they didn’t sign on the right line or put the correct postage on the permit envelope, or because the telephone poles aren’t a certain height, then I’d say yeah, screw the government bastards. But the reality is, as many others have said, these regulations are in place for a reason, and it’s the job of the building departments, etc. to enforce them. What happens if these folks catch a break, and they can continue on their way, no permits or inspections or changes required? This opens the door for everybody else who doesn’t want to follow the annoying, cumbersome rules. What happens if someone wants to do something a little less “artsy” and palatable, like build a concrete garage in a wetland? Should that person get a pass, too?

    As mentioned, I hope a compromise can be reached. Either a free pass or “tear it down” seems unreasonable.

  63. ANNETTE GILBERT says:

    YOU STAY STRONG!!!! tell them to just shove it. This is nothing more than a bunch of rich, self-rightous, sick of their own life, assholes. I love the house. Very artistic with tons of heart. GOD BLESS AMERICA, THE LAND OF THE FREE

  64. David says:

    The smartest thing this guy could do is host prayer services at his house and seek to protect the structure under RLUIPA….Google it….

  65. Nancie says:

    I hope you do not go to jail over this as your son will still want you home. I understand and wish you the best. It is ever so sad that this is what we as people have become. Sadly, the people that want to see it brought down are the ones that have missed the point in living out their own lives. Seems if they cant’ see the forest through the trees no one else is allowed to either. I am a designer….I like your house. I hope I can see it some day. I would even make a trip out there just to view what you have created. Thanks

  66. Iris says:

    Hm… I say perhaps they should offer to work with him to bring the structure up to fire safety standards. Also, just a general item… if this whole thing was started 20 years ago, well, a lot has changed. I’m pretty sure there were safety codes that weren’t even in existence that long ago, that have come into effect now. Furthermore, I’d say stick with just fining him for the permit item, and, as said, work with him on bringing it up to current fire code standards.

    I’d like to say that the reality of today is that most houses are NOT in fact up to code. A lot of them are built that way. It’s cheaper that way. I myself got dinged for my mobile home, and didn’t even know it wasn’t in code. I didn’t build it. I bought it, brand new, and guess what? It was built out of code. So ragging on the guy for it is a bit silly. It’s not whether the building is within code, it’s whether or not he’s willing to try and modify things.

  67. Revoltop says:

    1. Did you know the windmills are $5,000 a piece in just permit fees?
    2. Did you know you can’t build over 35 ‘ on a typically zoned lot, period end of story.
    3. A zoning change cost $17,000 just for the application , if you don’t get it approved you loose the money?
    4. If someone gets hurt you get sued , the building code doesn’t pay the victim it victimizes you?
    5. The great wall of China did not have a permit and could not get one today in LA county, it is over 6feet.
    6. Basically you only get to pay the taxes and cover the liability but other then that the king decides what you can do and when , if not the king will take his land back.

    No matter what this guy would try and do it would not be allowed in this zoning without engineering documents regardless of the actual building’s worthiness, only the government using your money can afford to legally build this structure. Welcome to LA county.

  68. Macdoodle says:

    it is amazing cross of art and architecture and should be considered usable art work and saved .
    If there some sections that are very dangerous they should be shored up.

    There could be agreements he never rents out, posts warnings to all visitors, signs never to sue the agencies etc. Then he is doing what his imagination allows on his own property. He is in Acton, not Newport Beach or Bel Air and he should be able to live like he is in a rural spot managing his own land.

  69. Dave says:

    Big government at work! It’s only taken them 30 years to catch up to this guy and hit him with decades-old code violations. All he has to do is file an appeal. He’ll be long buried before the court date ever arrives. Or change the name from Phonehenge West to Phonehenge Church or Latter Day Landowners. Don’t worry folks, this here government of ours will get right on that unemployment/economy thingy… wait, someone say something about an unemployment/economy thingy? It’s so easy to get distracted when rogue homeowners are building homes to live in.

  70. Samuel Verbiese says:

    Impressive technical information, such as the number and size of structures used (Kim’s signature telephone poles so clearly visible in above pictures), this is the kind of information that ought to be accurately explained for this work to reach due credit : I saw somewhere it all does exists in Kim’s documents, but if this can’t be produced to the jury, how can they assess his claims ? This evidence should be thoroughly analysed by independent experts, who must be cited as witnesses during trial. And for a special case like this shouldn’t seeking the co-operation of engineering and architecture schools be recommended, who might prove most willing to study this unconventional work, that lies perhaps beyond conventional codes. Why not try giving this an educational/research edge, in both fields ? It’s really a pity that 500,000$+ apparently were spent (how ?) towards destruction, rather than for helping Kim to conform, not blindly to existing codes, but to scientific/technical authority, especially in times where we all seek new ideas for progress. It would be highly interesting to see opinions from noted architects and engineers ! It merits therefore posting in main media to get a high-level discussion triggered, beyond loads of hidden agendas. When will Malia and Sasha find this fair tale magic scenery under their fresh eyes and thoughts, so that she can ask Dad and Mom how they could prove useful… This is positive food for the American “show what you can” strength and the “yes we can” drive during these hard times globally hit by such huge losses of life and infrastructure…

  71. garvan says:

    If Phonehenge must be torn down, then so must Simon Rodia’s Watts Towers be torn down.

  72. Josette Lemaire says:

    WOW! Sometimes God just puts things in our hearts, minds, and hands and tells us to go to work. No matter how many building codes there are, a soul is just overwhelmed and compelled to do something that God gave him to do. Even could be described as an OCD. Just can’t help it or control it, you got to do what you got to do. This man has a vision, I seriously doubt that code enforcement would have kept him from his dream. He would have built it somewhere. Tennessee mountains are beautiful, come build a dream here. I like it, I love it, I want some more of it!
    Call it art or what ever you want, it is a home.
    With home forclosures at an all time high, the man is blessed to have a home that, God no doubt inspired him to build it himself.
    I think the place is beautiful, look around, might be some little endangerd lizard species living under the front porch step that does not want to move. Maybe a few bird houses that a little endangerd bird found a good place to nest in and bring up its chicks. God had that house built there for a reason, find out what it is!
    Good luck, and God bless.

  73. Samuel Verbiese says:

    Most disheartening sight. The Machine of Art and Justice did its dirty job, compare with the beauty above, and after viewing the movies when googling to ‘phonehenge west’, watch the following

    And now, are you ready to take this?

    A last one, see the little girl under there, enjoying this magic place, something my daughter who was due there in September won’t see anymore… It draw real tears spouting out of me ol’ man

    Are you proud now, My Honor ? Have a nice sleep …and thank you so much, for the image you gave the world of what America is becoming !

  74. starrgratt says:

    dispite what any official may say, a man should have the right to build his dream home without codes. If he wants bank financing or plans to sell it or insure it then its a different story. but for personal use i favor freedom.

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