BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — A 6-foot cinderblock wall that now stands in the middle of a popular walking thoroughfare in the Amberton neighborhood was built legally, according to a city official.
The wall, which now divides two cul-de-sacs, was installed this week by a homeowner on the 3700 block of Calle Privada amid protest from nearby residents.
"He contacted the city about his interest in closing the gap," said Andy Heglund, deputy city attorney. "City staff researched the city records and determined that there was no recorded public thoroughfare in that area."
Upset residents from both sides protested this week on the 3700 block of Outingdale Drive, the other side of the wall.
They say their main concern is having to walk their children to school along Ming Avenue, where the posted speed limit is 45 mph.
"This is a very highly used easement that's been here as long as we can remember," said Bryan Bell, an Amberton parent who will no longer be able to use the walkway to walk his children to school. "Just remove the wall. We'd be happy to make him whole ... put it back the way it was."
Another resident, Keri Mikkelsen, said the homeowner put up the wall after recent burglaries and that it won't prevent any potentially future crime.
"You're not walliong out the criminal element," Mikkselsen said. "You're walling out decent human people that just want to be able to safely go where they want to go."
Concerned residents have created a Facebook page on the issue and say they will seek legal action if the wall is not taken down.