Central Coast

Dear Jon: Many curb painters fly under the radar

Resident questions having to pay for service without prior consent

If you've lived in a neighborhood for any length of time, you'll eventually be confronted with curb painters. "Raider" emailed me and asked, "Dear Jon, do curb painters have the City's permission to paint your curb number and then ask for a donation?"

I called the city of Salinas' Public Works Department; Director Gary Peterson explained to me that curb painters are supposed to be licensed by the city to do that work. But a lot of times they aren't and that leaves homeowners questioning whether they have to pay, after the fact.

The answer is no, you don't.

It's considered a donation, not a fee, for service. Many times these entities fly under the radar as "non-profits" and they won't even show up at your door. They just paint and go, leaving residents wondering what to do or making them feel obligated to pay in some way.

Peterson says curb painters are not only supposed to have a Business License but an Encroachment Permit in Salinas to do curb painting.

An "Encroachment" Permit should be obtained for all proposed activities related to the placement of encroachments within, under, or over city property. One example would be painting house numbers on the city curb outside your home.

But that seems to be the exception as opposed to the rule with many of these entities. They print out a flier, say they're going to be in your neighborhood and paint your house number on your curb and ask for 10 bucks for the service after the fact.

If these folks come to you door, ask to see their permit and license. Or at least who you can contact to see these items. You're also free to call the issue into the city Finance department or the Public Works department.

Policing this issue, however, according to Peterson is way down on the totem pole of things they have to enforce.

If you have a question for me, email me on the link above or message me on Facebook at "JonKBrent KIONKCOY" or Twitter at "DearJonKBrent."

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