Archive for the ‘housing’ Category

San Francisco’s Only Real “Gated Community” is Presidio Terrace – The Gates are Always Open But There’s a Guard to Keep You Out

Friday, July 11th, 2014

Sometimes.

But dividing the cost of a security guard among 20-something families is prolly pretty expensive, so at other times there’s only an empty SUV posted as sentry.

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And best of all, the place is Caucasians-only, sort of:

In a small brochure, Object Lessons in Homebuilding, developers Baldwin and Howell promoted racial covenants as part of a set of deed covenants attached to a model planned gated suburb, Presidio Terrace. Deed covenants were used to ensure protection from the nuisances of uncontrolled growth following the 1906 earthquake and to create a community of “Caucasians” only in Presidio Terrace. Among such progressive urban design amenities as underground utilities, asphalt roads for automobiles, and private picturesque streets, racial covenants guaranteed racial homogeneity as an integral part of desirable suburban housing. Baldwin and Howell marketed Presidio Terrace lots by focusing comparatively on the settlement of Japanese immigrants in the Western Addition district of San Francisco as undesirable and blighted by racial pathologies.”

Stratolounger! Your Haight-Ashbury House Just Isn’t a Home Until You Put a Couch on the Roof – 417 Clayton

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Above it all, watching the jetliners pass by:

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But I suppose if you live in a crowded house, this is a viable option…

Do you climb into spa-a-ace/

To the world where you lou-ou-ounge?

Spank the Landlord! – Infamous Owner of 312 Fillmore Gets a Notice of Violation from San Francisco – Tenants Strike Back

Friday, May 23rd, 2014

Well some tenant at 312 Fillmore got a letter from the landlord and sent it off to Hoodline.com and the rest is history.

Here’s the update. Some of the tenants contacted DBI. See?

And then DBI sent an Inspector out two days ago.

And then the Inspector looked around and filed a Notice of Violation yesterday.

On 5/21/14 Inspector Steve Mungovan investigated the complaint at unit #25 of the subject property and observed violations of the San Francisco Housing Code which are delineated within the Notice of Violation issued on 5/22/2014 identified by Complaint Tracking #201474055. Pertinent observations are as follows: Peeling paint and damaged wall surfaces.”

This is only going to get worse for this particular landlord.

Oh, and guess what? If the LL tries to evict anybody soon, that action just might be presumed to be a retaliatory eviction.

Ouch.

On It Goes…

Description: The kitchen sink hot water pipe was changed out previously from galvanized to bronze; they didnt change out the cold water, which is still leaking. Because the building and piping is old, there are blockages. He has had water leak out and found standing water in the apartment. **He has had a water leak from rain that is coming through the window and there is damage to the wall below. There was also a large crack about 2-3 inches deep and a crack on the outside, where the water is coming in. The apartment has not been painted since he moved in, in 1989. Cracks in walls.
Instructions: 311 SR# 3649450 , ** 3649409 rec’d by HIS on 5/16/2014

Seen on the Street: WeekendHouseSwap.com – A Source for “Northern Califronia Getaways” – But How Does It Make Money?

Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

I don’t know.

All the deets

They say they’re not all about making money…

So Who Owns the Koshland Mansion at 3800 Washington Anyway? Taylor Swift or CNET’s Halsey Minor or “Miss Xia Xu?”

Monday, May 19th, 2014

Well, this was the big rumor of May 2014:

Taylor Swift Rumored To Buy Historical Presidio Heights Mansion for $18M

But the Taylor Swift people said no way, Jose.

But hey, look what’s on the front door now, a weathered posting:

Here’s my stab at it:

MR HU XU AND I MISS XIA XU

OWN OUR PERMANENT RESIDENCE

3800 AND 3810 WASHINGTON STREET

IN SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

THIS PROPERTY IS NOT FOR SALE

MISS XIA XU

But here’s the For Sale sign that’s still there. (Note the smallish 3810 Washington next door on the left.)

And here’s the web site still offering the place for sale. Check it out – the floor plans make this place look amazing, with levels up and down into the earth

And here’s the current listing.

This certainly is a mystery…

Subterranean by design
I wonder what I would find
If I met you, let my eyes caress you
Until I meet the thought of Miss Princess Xu?

Richmond District Photo Quiz: Which of These Houses at 10th and Balboa is Worth $3 Million? OMG, I’m Gobsmacked

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Here it is, the Inner Richmond farmhouse at 594 10th Avenue what’s worth $2,888,888.88 or whatever, as seen on a dread sunny day:

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And oh yes, this crib is just perfect for “entertaining dignitaries.” (And then when that’s over, just head up two blocks to Geary to the prostitution sector for a “happy endings” massage to , you know, complete the soiree!)

Sometimes I just don’t know…

And I’m not objecting to the price, I’m objecting to the price for this, this monument to obsolescence at this particular location.Now if you want to drag this thing northeast to a few blocks above California, well then you might have something, Climb Realty.

To reiterate, sometimes I just don’t know…

(In closing, Amenities, Not Enemies)

The Reason Why It’s Not “Illegal” for the Landlord at 312 Fillmore to Require $100K Income and a 725 FICO Score

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Here’s the post from Hoodline. It shows part of a letter given to all the tenants at, let’s say, 312 Fillmore on Haight.

Can’t say that I know the purpose, but it could be to give a heads up to tenants who might wish to replace a roommate under the rules laid out by the San Francisco Rent Board. There’s some stuff in there about landlords “unreasonably” withholding consent from existing tenants who want to get a new roomie. Of course there are all kinds of factors that determine who and how many people can live in a unit in rent controlled SF, so it’s not impossible that you’d have two people in a one bedroom and then one moves out and another wants to move in. And at that point, that’s where incomes and credit scores can become factors. And if the LL says no to a potential new roomie, that’s when things can go to the SFRB.

Now if you want to say that this letter means “Make $100k Or Get Out,” well that’s your right, but I think you’re jumping to conclusions. If you want to say that this is a kind of harassment, well, you’re going to need a lot more than this to be able to do anything with it. And if you’re irritated by this landlord coming into your studio all the time without giving proper notice first, well, the lawgivers in Sacramento didn’t exactly specify a penalty for not giving proper notice, so there’s not much you can do there either.

(But, by all means, go ask Robert (or whatever his name is) what his intent was. And if he says, “Well, I’m evicting everybody in the building who makes less than $100k,” well, then the conclusion you all jumped to was OK fine.)

The proper response here is to ignore the letter and store it away along with all the others.

“Mixed use property – 25 residential, 5 commercial  30 unit, 5-story building

 18 studios, 6-one bedrooms & spacious 3 bedroom, 1-1/2 bath penthouse with formal living/dining rooms, extra large kitchen, utility area, fireplace and panoramic views.
Building size: 17,750 sq. ft.
Lot size: 5,980 sq. ft.
Year built: 1925
Zoning: NC2
Parcel #: 0849-020
Current rents are $1800 to $3500 Studio to 1 bedrooms”

Life goes on, in high-rent Frsico, a block from the projects, on Webster…

All right, play us out, Victor Vasquez:

Kool A.D., living contradictory since ’83
Arkansas street, like a block from the projects
HP some more blocks from some other projects
To Alameda, so we not by the projects
Now look at me, getting nods for my projects

Hey Look! DDG Partners and DM DEVELOPMENT Team Up to Evict the Homeless Encampment at the New 8 Octavia Condo Building

Thursday, May 1st, 2014

[UPDATE: At least one person has moved back in, as of May Day 2014.]

Here’s your before, at the corner of Market Street and the man-made disaster of Octavia “Boulevard,” from just last month, April 2014, IDK, 10 days ago?

See down below, those cardboard boxes were the start of a homeless encampment that stretched north up the Boulevard:

How many people slept there each night? IDK, but there were spaces for like a dozen people.

Anyway, that was then and this is now – this is how things look today, May 1st, after the recent clean up:

See that? Homeless people be gone, replaced by “ol ol g” (DDG, for those of you who don’t read Starchitect or whatever the hell that font is called) and DM DEVELOPMENT, ’cause, you know, it just wouldn’t do to have those glorious names residing over where people reside.

Oh, and here’s the pitch:

Design

DM Development collaborates with visionary architects and interior designers to create remarkable living spaces that push the boundaries of design.

That’s your 8 Octavia condo update. Look for the banner ads soon – it won’t be long now… 

The Empire Strikes Back: Board President David Chiu’s AirBNB Legalization Proposal Gets Opposed by the SFAA, Tenant’s Groups

Monday, April 28th, 2014

A fresh press release:

“NEWS RELEASE: SAN FRANCISCO CITYWIDE COALITION SAYS NO TO PROPOSED CHIU LEGISLATION - Board of Supervisors trying to convert residential housing to short-term rentals

Press conference Tuesday April 29, 2014 Steps of City Hall at 10:00 am

San Francisco — Organizations representing usually divergent interests ranging from tenants to landlords, and from hotel workers to the hospitality industry have joined forces with neighborhood and homeowner associations to oppose legislation introduced by Supervisor David Chiu to legalize the short term rentals of residential property throughout San Francisco.

“In the face of an unprecedented housing crisis, Supervisor Chiu’s legislation to legalize the short term rentals of residential property will only exacerbate the housing crisis. This practice is detrimental to our rent-controlled housing stock”, said Janan New, Executive Director of the San Francisco Apartment Association.

“Our studies have shown that with over 10,000 units of housing being rented out over Airbnb, HomeAway and other websites this practice is having a negative impact on hotel workers and San Francisco’s hospitality industry”, said Mike Casey, President of UNITE HERE Local 2.

“The proposed legislation would rezone the entire city from residential zoning to commercial zoning in one fell swoop. We hear complaints from almost every neighborhood about the detrimental effects of short term rentals on the quality of life of tenants and residents”, said John Bardis, former President of the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods and former San Francisco Supervisor.

“Supervisors Chiu’s legislation would repeal hard won controls on Single Resident Occupancy housing, threatens current affordable housing provisions for over 30,000 permanently affordable units, would transform newly approved “in-law units” into high priced motel rooms and make “below market rate” units lifetime luxury hotels. It is the single biggest threat to affordable housing ever proposed by a San Francisco Supervisor” stated longtime affordable housing advocate Calvin Welch.

“Airbnb and other hosting platforms owe the City millions of dollars in unpaid hotel taxes. It is high time that the City collect these taxes which pay for the arts and vital city services and programs. The proposed legislation does not clearly hold Airbnb and similar organizations responsible for collecting and remitting the hotel tax”, said former Supervisor Aaron Peskin.

All of these organizations are calling for Supervisor Chiu to withdraw his legislation at a press conference on Tuesday April 29 on the steps of City Hall at 10:00 am.”

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Sues Short-Term Rental Scofflaws for Illegal Conversions, Unlawful Business Practices – Ellis Act, Baby!

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

[UPDATE: Direct link here and the full press kit with complaint here.]

City Attorney Dennis Herrera, The Happy Warrior:

“Herrera sues short-term rental scofflaws for illegal conversions, unlawful business practices

Two cases target ‘egregious offenders’—both involving Ellis Act evictions of disabled tenants to illegally convert residential apartments into tourist lodging

SAN FRANCISCO (April 23, 2014) — City Attorney Dennis Herrera today filed two separate lawsuits against short-term rental scofflaws for illegally converting residential apartments into commercial tourist lodging, which the property owners then marketed through such online platforms as Airbnb, Homeway.com and VRBO.com.  In both cases, the defendants had previously evicted long-term residents from their apartments under the Ellis Act, a state law that allows landlords to evict tenants and withdraw their properties from the residential rental market.  Two of the evicted tenants were disabled, according to San Francisco Superior Court and Rent Board records cited in today’s pleadings.

“In the midst of a housing crisis of historic proportions, illegal short-term rental conversions of our scarce residential housing stock risks becoming a major contributing factor,” said Herrera.  “The cases I’ve filed today target two egregious offenders.  These defendants didn’t just flout state and local law to conduct their illegal businesses, they evicted disabled tenants in order to do so.  Today’s cases are the first among several housing-related matters under investigation by my office, and we intend to crack down hard on unlawful conduct that’s exacerbating—and in many cases profiting from—San Francisco’s alarming lack of affordable housing.  I’m grateful to the city departments, including the San Francisco Planning Department, and community advocates who have worked with my office to help us pursue these kinds of scofflaws.  And I encourage tenants and neighbors to report housing-related wrongdoing online to my office through our Up2Code.org website or the Up2Code app, or by calling our Code Enforcement Hotline at (415) 554-3977.”

Herrera’s complaints filed in San Francisco Superior Court this morning detail pervasive violations of the city Planning Code and state Unfair Competition Law at three addresses: 3073-3075 Clay Street, owned by defendants Darren and Valerie Lee; and 734 and 790 Bay Street, which is owned or managed by defendants Lev, Tamara and Tatyana Yurovsky.  If successful, the litigation could result in permanent court-ordered injunctions; civil penalties of up to $200 per day for Planning Code violations; up to $2,500 for each unlawful business act; disgorgement of illegally obtained profits; and attorneys’ fees.  Though the Ellis Act itself does not preclude the commercial use of properties for tourists where long-term tenants have previously been evicted, Herrera’s litigation emphasized longstanding city policy that tourist conversions of residential properties be aggressively policed “in order to protect the residents and to conserve the limited housing resources.”

According to one of Herrera’s civil actions, defendants Darren and Valerie Lee purchased 3073-3075 Clay Street in 2004, and invoked the Ellis Act in 2005 to evict their tenants from both of the property’s residential units.  One of the evicted tenants was disabled.  Evidence presented in the complaint found that the Lees have marketed 3075 Clay Street, a four-bedroom, three-bathroom property, for tourist lodging on such vacation websites such as Homeaway.com and VRBO.com since 2009, describing it as an “exquisitely renovated home, in prime Pacific Heights.”  The Lees charged their guests between $395 and $595 per night for a minimum stay of three nights.  But in doing so, the owners flouted the city’s required conditional use authorization process—depriving neighbors and city planners of their role to first determine whether the conversion is necessary or desirable; compatible with the neighborhood; detrimental to the City’s housing stock; or consistent with the city’s Planning Code or Planning Department’s General Plan.  According to Herrera’s complaint, San Francisco’s Planning Department repeatedly cited the Lees for their illegal use of the property for commercial tourist lodging, even collecting penalties of as much $250 per day for violations.  The Lees—who at one point assured Planning Department officials that their illegal conduct had stopped—then defiantly resumed marketing and renting their property to tourists.  In 3073 Clay Street, the Lees evicted a disabled tenant who had lived in the unit for more than ten years and, until evicted, was paying $1,087 per month.  By invoking the Ellis Act, the Lees were legally restricted until August 25, 2011, from re-renting the unit at market rate.  But evidence presented in Herrera’s action shows that the Lees admitted to the Planning Department that they had, in fact, re-rented 3073 Clay Street and charged their new residential tenants between $5,000-$7,038 per month.

Herrera’s other civil complaint against Lev, Tamara and Tatyana Yurovsky notes that they, too, used the Ellis Act to evict long-term residential tenants — including one who was disabled — from one of their properties, at 734 Bay Street.  Together with a residential unit at another of their properties owned by Lev and Tatyana and managed by Tamara, at 790 Bay Street, the Yurovskys illegally converted their apartments into tourist use beginning in 2010.  They marketed the rentals to tourists on Airbnb.com and “greatsfvacation.com” for rates of between $165 and $320 per night, with three-night minimum stays.  Though the Yurovsky defendants boasted on social media that they had hosted several hundred tourists, according to evidence detailed in the complaint, they too flouted the city’s conditional use authorization process, violating the San Francisco Planning Code and state law.

The cases are: City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Darren Lee et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 538857; and City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of California v. Tamara Yurovsky et al., San Francisco Superior Court No. 538854.  Additional documentation from the case is available on the City Attorney’s website at:http://www.sfcityattorney.org/.