There was a time in the country when if a fabulously wealthy person wished to be left alone he’d build a fortified compound well outside the city limits and have its massive grounds patrolled by hounds with a taste for flesh and blood.
Urbanization has changed things, though, and our gentry is no longer quite as landed. They like to live in cities, and that creates problems. Problems like people hanging out on their sidewalk, gawkers peering onto their property — inevitably trespassing and causing damage — and the paparazzi taking pictures of them. Apart from the trespassing and property damage that’s all legal as we still have a First Amendment and the right to gather in public spaces in this country, but it’s still pretty annoying.
Derek Jeter is one of those urban-dwelling members of the gentry, and he’s taking measures to deal with things.
The Tampa Bay Times reports that Jeter got the city of Tampa to grant him special permission build taller-than-code barriers around his nine-bedroom home to thwart the paparazzi and assorted gawkers. His neighbors were fully behind the move to give him a variance to build an eight-foot fence, which is two feet higher than code provides. The paparazzi and gawkers bug them and damage their property too.
First Amendment rights are First Amendment rights, but it’s sad to me that people think that hanging outside of someone’s house like that is a great use of their time. If two feet more of fence puts a stop to it, viva Derek Jeter and his actions before the zoning variance board.