Posts Tagged ‘evicted’

The US Attorney’s Office Throws Down: Reaches $80k Settlement with Fremont Apt. Complex for Discrimination Against Families

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014

First, take a look at this review on YP.Com:

“This place is awful!!! DO NOT MOVE HERE IF YOU HAVE KIDS!!! They act like they are family friendly but they most certainly are not. We were constantly harrassed for our 2 yr old’s night mares. We were threatened with calls to CPS because "we let him cry for more than 10 minutes", we called the police department to find out what our rights were and go figure we were doing nothing wrong. I would wake up to nasty messages from the manager about my bad parenting. Right before we moved they posted notice on all the tenants’ doors saying that kids were no longer allowed in the courtyard regardless of supervision. It said more specifically that parents were lazy and needed to make time for their kids and take them to park to play…

That was the wind-up, now here’s the pitch:

Justice Department Obtains $80,000 Settlement In Housing Discrimination Lawsuit Against California Landlord

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 25, 2014 - WASHINGTON – The Justice Department today announced an agreement with the owners and operators of Woodland Garden Apartments in Fremont, California, to settle allegations of discrimination against families with children. Under the consent order, which must still be approved by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the defendants are required to pay $77,500 to the victims of their discrimination and an additional $2,500 to the government as a civil penalty. The settlement resolves a complaint filed by the department on Oct. 25, 2013.

The lawsuit alleged that the apartment complex maintained rules that discriminated against families with children in violation of the Fair Housing Act. Specifically, the lawsuit challenged a rule that prohibited children from playing outside in the common grassy areas of the complex and provided that families would be evicted if they violated this rule. The lawsuit also alleged that the actions of the defendants constituted a pattern or practice of discrimination.

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Hot Tub Time Machine! Don’t You Want to Party on this Aging Party Boat / Tech Incubator Tied Up at Pier 50?

Wednesday, July 16th, 2014

Here it is, the Maritol, seen with One Rincon in the background:

And here’s the famed on-deck hot tub, camera right:

I’ll tell you, I can’t imagine a boat like this being a party boat without its hot tub and I can’t imagine any boat like this with a hot tub not being a party boat.

So deny it all you want, party boat owners - nobody believes you.

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/.

Uh Oh, Now There’s ANOTHER Lawsuit Against the City: Small Property Owners vs. the “Nonconforming Unit Ordinance”

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Man, San Francisco sure seems to be getting sued a lot by property owners a lot these days.

Get used to it, 2014′s going to be a bumpy ride.

To wit:

“January 29, 2014 

SMALL PROPERTY OWNERS OF SAN FRANCISCO FILE LAWSUIT TO BLOCK LAW

New Ordinance Would Discriminate Against Families Who Move Into Their Own Buildings 

SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday, January 28, 2014 – Today, the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute filed a lawsuit challenging Supervisor John Avalos’ Nonconforming Unit Ordinance on the grounds that the ordinance violates state law and fails to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Nonconforming Unit Ordinance would legalize the practice of renovating and expanding “nonconforming units.” Nonconforming units are “grandfathered” residential units that exceed local zoning laws’ density limits. Controversially, the ordinance would also discriminate against nonconforming units that have been the subject of lawful “no-fault” evictions, which are allowed under state and local law. Such units would be denied building permits for up to 10 years following a lawful eviction – even for regular maintenance and minor repairs. Property owners would also be barred from rebuilding their units after a fire or earthquake.

“This legislation punishes families who move into their own buildings,” stated Noni Richen, president of the Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (SPOSFI). “It could cause thousands of lawful housing units to sit vacant while the City denies permits for basic upkeep. Given the current housing shortage, this is unconscionable.”

“As we have shown again and again, we will not allow the City to violate property rights with these illegal schemes,” stated Andrew M. Zacks, SPOSFI’s attorney. “The state’s Ellis Act prohibits this kind of discrimination against lawful evictions. Moreover, cities are required to evaluate a new ordinance’s environmental impacts under CEQA. This legislation was rushed through without proper review.”

Nonconforming units are different from “in-law” units, which are generally unpermitted and illegal. For example, a permitted third unit on a parcel zoned for two units is considered a nonconforming unit. The City Planning Department’s Information and Analysis Group estimates that approximately 52,000 units in the city are nonconforming, comprising some 14% of the city’s housing stock.

A copy of the Nonconforming Unit Ordinance is available at http://zulpc.com/small-property-owners-file-suit-to-block-discriminatory-law/.

The Small Property Owners of San Francisco Institute (“SPOSFI”) is a California nonprofit corporation. SPOSFI advocates for the Small Property Owners of San Francisco, a nonprofit organization that works to promote and preserve home ownership in San Francisco. Its focus is to protect the rights of small property owners and foster opportunities for first-time home buyers. SPOSFI members range from young families to the elderly on fixed incomes, and its membership cuts across all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic strata. Its members include San Francisco residents who own nonconforming residential units in San Francisco.

Zacks & Freedman, P.C. is a law firm dedicated to advocating for the rights of property owners. With experience and knowledge in rent control issues, zoning, permitting, transactional disputes and other real estate matters, Zacks & Freedman, P.C. has successfully advocated its clients’ positions before local administrative tribunals and at all levels of the State and Federal courts.

Uh Oh, Now There’s a Lawsuit Against the City for Recent Ellis Act Legislation – SFAA & realtors Fighting Us

Wednesday, January 29th, 2014

Read it and weep, San Francisco. We’re getting sued:

“For Immediate Release, January 29, 2014:

San Francisco Housing Associations File Lawsuit to Block Anti-Family Legislation

San Francisco – On Tuesday January 28, 2014, the San Francisco Apartment Association, Coalition for Better Housing and the San Francisco Association of REALTORS® filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of legislation known as the Avalos Ellis Act and Merger Prohibition Legislation.

 The legislation was passed by the Board of Supervisors and signed into law by Mayor Ed Lee in violation of building owners’ rights under the state law known as the Ellis Act.

 The legislation prohibits owners of multi-unit buildings from combining units in a building for ten years following an Ellis Act eviction or for five years following an owner-move in eviction.

 On a practical level, the legislation prevents families who own a building from creating a home that meets their needs. For example, the legislation prevents a family from combining two small units into a larger one to provide a home for a growing family. Couples with young children often find themselves in need of additional space they did not anticipate when they purchased a rental building, yet the legislation punishes them.

 Only 2 percent of new housing built in San Francisco since 2001 are single-family homes that provide adequate space for families, often with multiple generations living together. Lack of adequate housing to meet the needs of families has contributed San Francisco losing 5,278 people younger than 18 between 2000 and 2010, according to the census.

 “The San Francisco Association of REALTORS® supports the rights of private property owners for the free use of their property as their needs suit them.  This legislation only exacerbates the problems families face in finding adequate housing and drives out the families that have created the diversity we want and celebrate in our city,” said Walt Baczkowski, CEO of the San Francisco Association of Realtors.

 Because so few single family homes are being constructed, families rely on improving buildings they own, including tenancies in common to add living space. This legislation prohibits them from creating the home they need in a building they own.

 “Families are fleeing San Francisco due to a multitude of reasons that include a lack of adequate space for growing families that often include multiple generations. This legislation exacerbates that problem by punishing and limiting options for families who simply seek to create a home that meets the needs of their family,” stated Janan New, Executive Director of the San Francisco Apartment Association. “This legislation punishes hard working families, while doing little to protect renters.”

 The lawsuit states that the legislation is pre-empted by state law known as the Ellis Act, which allows building owners to take a building off the rental market and convert those units to condominiums or single -family homes. Under the law, building owners are already required to give occupants up to one year advance notice and provide relocation fees of $5,210 per tenant, up to a maximum of $15,632, plus $3,473 additional for tenants who are senior or disabled.

 “My clients are seeking relief from this just-passed legislation which unfairly takes away the right of individuals and families who simply want to create a home for themselves and their family in a building they own,” stated Jim Parrinello, attorney for the plaintiffs.

Here’s What You Should Do When Your Landlord Sends You This Mandatory Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Letter This Month

Monday, November 18th, 2013

Absolutely nothing.

Say it again, y’all: Absolutely nothing.

Background: District One (aka The Richmond, more or less) Supervisor Eric Mar is a bird of another feather – he wasn’t satisfied with issuing edicts from Academia oh no. He descended from the ivory tower to put dreams into action. And his father passed away from lung cancer (AFAIK, pretty sure), so it would make sense that he wanted to do something for San Francisco renters who have to deal with secondhand smoke coming in from other units.

Get all the deets on San Francisco’s 2013 Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Policy as of last year via this excellent article from Christian Watjen right here.

So that’s the background. What’s going on now is that tenants all over the City are getting alarming/confusing letters from landlords. To wit:

Nervous Gay Couple Living With AIDS Get Letter from the Landlord

Now here’s what you’ll get* if your landlord toes the party line of the San Francisco Apartment Association – an excerpt of the pledge they want you to make:

“For purposes of the Tobacco Smoke Disclosure Policy and SF Health Code 19M, I would like to designate my apartment as non-smoking. I verify that neither I nor my guests will ever smoke tobacco within the rental apartment listed below.”

Uh, so why should tenants make this pledge? It’s not explained in this official SFAA letter now is it? And what if Barack Obama or Bill Clinton drops by your pad a few years from now? They puff puff every now and then, right? So what about your signed pledge, what about that?

And here’s what the lawyer(s) of  the SFAA have for you at the bottom of the letter:

“If you do voluntarily decide to designate your apartment as non-smoking, which you are not required to do, the designation is permanent and becomes a consensual change in the terms of your tenancy.”

Oh.

If you’re living in rent-controlled San Francisco, I think you should get some kind of benefit when you change the terms of your tenancy, you know, as a general rule .

And later on, is your landlord going to complain about how you’re violating the terms of your tenancy when you allowed your future bud / date / friend smoke one cigarette to help her get through one of her stressed out moments?

Or your Euro fiance can’t move in with you in 2015 because your “designation is permanent?”

And should we assume second-hand smoke from clove cigarettes and/or the Mary Jane is good for you, since it’s not covered?

Now, IRL, is this issue going to affect you? Prolly not. But I’m just saying.

So, sign your pledge or just ignore it – choose or lose, maybe.

*Assuming that you’re living in a building with fewer than 50 units and you aren’t restricted from smoking now. This is the notification you’ll get otherwise, possibly, and it’s fair enough. And here’s the full rundown from the SFAA. Again, no objections.

All the deets, after the jump

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The Problem with Ed Lee Releasing Money to Fight Illegal Ellis Act Evictions is That They Never Happen – Suffer the Lee Family

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Here are the first words of a recent press release:

Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced San Francisco will triple the amount of funding to prevent illegal Ellis Act evictions…”

Also:

“San Francisco must remain a viable place to live and work for people at all levels of the economic spectrum,” said Mayor Lee. “That’s why I am providing additional resources to stop unlawful evictions and provide tenant counseling for our residents, so that San Francisco remains a City for the 100 percent.”

The problem is that there’s no such thing as an illegal Ellis Act eviction in San Francisco.

Can Ed Lee cite a case? No he cannot.

(Go ahead, take a look.)

Ergo, the appointed Mayor of San Francisco “releasing” a small amount of money to fight something that never happens will have no effect on illegal Ellis Act evictions, except to, presumably, help Ed Lee.

So the question fro Question Time is this:

Is Ed Lee, the former housing rights attorney, in favor of legal Ellis Act evictions?

Apparently he is.

So that’s it for the ironically-named Lee family.

So we have one Lee family in town what calls horrible Chinatown power broker Rose Pak “Auntie Rose.”

And we have another what’s getting evicted right now, wondering who decided that Rose Pak was the most deserving person to get Rose Pak’s government-subsidized condo.

Mayor Lee Announces Additional Resources For Eviction Prevention In San Francisco
Posted Date: 9/30/2013

Mayor Edwin M. Lee announced San Francisco will triple the amount of funding to prevent illegal Ellis Act evictions and that the City will release $700,000 in funding for other eviction prevention services from the Housing Trust Fund.

“San Francisco must remain a viable place to live and work for people at all levels of the economic spectrum,” said Mayor Lee. “That’s why I am providing additional resources to stop unlawful evictions and provide tenant counseling for our residents, so that San Francisco remains a City for the 100 percent.”

The Human Services Agency (HSA) currently provides nearly $8 million in homeless prevention and eviction defense services, an increase of $1.3 million from last year’s budget. In this year’s budget, the City was providing nearly $125,000 to fund free legal advice and represent 55 San Francisco families who have been affected by illegal Ellis Act eviction threats. Today, Mayor Lee tripled the amount of funding with an additional $250,000, which will immediately be available to eligible organizations that provide Ellis Act prevention legal work and will help more families and people at all levels of the economic spectrum remain in San Francisco.

“Providing resources to stop unlawful evictions has proven to be one of the most effective strategies to prevent displacement and homelessness in our City,” said Trent Rhorer, Director of the San Francisco Human Services Agency. “This additional $250,000 will help keep San Francisco families in their homes.”

The Mayor’s Office of Housing will also provide $700,000, from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund, to fund tenant counseling services. This is a 63 percent increase in funding and brings the total amount to more than $2.3 million in eviction prevention services from the Mayor’s Office of Housing. These additional resources will be distributed to community based organizations specifically expanding legal representation for individuals facing eviction; rental assistance to individuals and families who are currently homeless or are struggling to keep their current rental housing; and to provide outreach to San Franciscans to better inform them about their legal rights.

The Mayor’s Office of Housing has prioritized eviction prevention services and funds activities including legal services, tenant counseling, rental assistance, move-in assistance, know your rights trainings, and other types of tenant support. Services are offered through a diverse group of community based organizations that reach San Francisco’s many communities including seniors, people with disabilities, immigrants, the homeless and families.

The HSA will issue an ‘Invitation to Bid’ this week so eligible organizations can apply and use the HSA funding to expand their legal services in order for them to be available to vulnerable tenants within 30 days. It is anticipated that the additional HSA funds will help at least 150 households receive legal advice and representation.

How to NIMBY in the Inner Richmond: King Sing Restaurant is Dead But Yuubi is Coming – Your Protest Period Ends Soon

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011

Well here’s the sitch over at 501 Balboa at Sixth Avenue in the Inner Richmond.

It’s the former poorly rated King Sing Fine Dining Chinese Cuisine & Wine Bar.

He’s dead, Jim:

Click to expand

See?

But here comes the replacement, Yuubi Japanese Restaurant:

Now, ss we all know, NIMBY’s and similar monsters aren’t born, they’re created, created by NIMBY-friendly rules and regulations.

You know, by stuff like this.

So have at it. You have ’til the end of the month to whine about one restaurant replacing another restaurant two football fields away from your fog-enshrouded, Prop 13-subsidized hovel.

Start up a group, why not? Call it the Inner Richmond Busybodies, or something. Say stuff like, “I’m the President of the IRBB and…”

Now that’s how you NIMBY in the 415.

All the deets, after the jump.

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KQED News was On The Scene for This Morning’s “Occupy Oakland” Police Eviction – Follow Along, Tick Tock

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

It’s all right here.

Stow Lake is Closed From September 19-23, Per This Sign – A Quiet Time for the Boathouse

Monday, September 19th, 2011

Here’s a tour of the Stow Lake Boathouse area these days.

Looks like you won’t be able to park your car around the lake this week:

Click to expand

They’ll probably let you walk around most of the place most of the time, but the whole area will be getting worked on through the end of September 2011, looks like.

The boats are gone:

 \

And the protest signs as well:

Frank Klein has the keys now:

“Got the keys to Stow Lake Boathouse today! Great feeling beginning to restore this landmark property for the next generations of SF residents”