Town Square

Painting house numbers on curbs

Original post made by Jim, Midtown, on Aug 30, 2007

I see a guy coming down my street with a clipboard and some spray paint. He already painted a number on the curb of a house accross the street. Do you need a permit for this? If he rings my bell, is he going to ask me for money? Can I dispatch him with extreme predjudice?


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Posted by Matt
a resident of Santa Rita (Los Altos)
on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:38 pm

If you are concerned, you should probably call the non emergency phone number for the police. I believe the number is (650) 329-2413. Solicitors do need a permit.

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Posted by jack
a resident of Greenmeadow
on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:42 pm

You don't have to deal with these people, they have never given me any trouble when I've just said no, but you can make a case that it's a safety measure for emergency vehicles to have a highly visible number on the curb.

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Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 30, 2007 at 12:57 pm

A few years ago, a boy scout troop offered to do this for our neighborhood as a fundraiser. Some chose to, others did not. A very efficient job was done for a fair price and there were no problems. I chose to go with this project because I agree with the safety/emergency practicalities of this plus I think fundraising by people who actually want to work or do a useful job is much better than buying cookies.

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Posted by Mary
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Aug 30, 2007 at 7:17 pm

If it for someone other than the Boy Scouts, pay in cash. DO NOT give a personal check.
We had this done one year - and it washed off with the first rain.

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Posted by Anamika
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 30, 2007 at 7:59 pm

We were approached by such a person about two years ago. He gave me the 'emergency vehicles' theory first and kind of pretended he was with the City (With terms like 'City requires this etc'). When I questioned him about the City part and asked his id - he said that he was an independent contractor .. and that he worked only with cash.

He started out with $40 for both the edges (verticle and horizontal) and then gave me a final offer for $15. I declined to get the numbers painted - he came back after one hour and offered to do this at $10 .. by then our front side neighbors had gotten it done. I paid $10 cash - two months later, after the first heavy rain, the paint washed off.

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Posted by TC
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 30, 2007 at 10:03 pm

I would LOVE to have someone reputable come by and paint our house number on the curb. We're on a flag lot, way off the street, and people have trouble finding our house. The number has been painted on the curb a few times over the years (nearly 30 at this address) but it's pretty worn off now.

I wish there was someone I could call who I knew would do a good job. Seriously, I would pay decent money for this. I should really just do it myself.

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Posted by Edward Franks
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Sep 17, 2007 at 9:31 am

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
I have had my curb painted three times over the years without a problem and these were normal people just trying to make a living and provide a service. None of the paint washed off like the above stated. Paint is paint and my curb id's last about five years and not a bad investment for $ 10 cash and personality I don't give a damn if they pay taxes or not. Every ninute lost in response time a love one will lose 2 million brain cells and reduce their change of survival by 10% every minute.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


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Posted by Suzan
a resident of Mountain View
on Sep 17, 2007 at 9:39 am

What a shame to put fear into people about someone trying to make a living the best way they can. Anyone can come to your door and be a problem (sales person in a suit, worker saying they work for the city etc.). I have had a homeless person paint my address numbers on my curb for several years. He comes by about every 2 years, is polite, clean and does a wonderful job. I have had neighbors comment on how great mine look and he has done other jobs as a result. He, as there are in all towns, people who cannot work in the general population for reasons we cannot understand, this does NOT make them worthless people. This homeless person is doing a job, in all kinds of weather, to make ends meet for him. Too many people turn their backs on those we don't understand. I feel good inside knowing I am helping someone, in any way I can, no matter what he spends the money on to help him get by in life. Since I now donate to the homeless shelters every year. I had to use EMS and they responded very fast and I can't help but wonder if the curb address was responsible since most of the addresses in my neighborhood cannot be seen. Maybe some of you should take a look at yourselves inside as to how kind you should be to your fellow man!

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Posted by phil welch
a resident of another community
on Aug 14, 2009 at 1:45 pm

I've been out of work for 10months I'm so far behind and I'm crumbling inside
phil welch