Those who aren't affluent or in abject poverty will find it increasingly difficult to establish roots here — and abject poverty is hardly an aspirational state. Much of the family-sized housing in this city is being built by Pollard and his colleagues, atop the ruins of the city's starter homes. "Families with three kids won't buy a 1,000-square-foot house," he says, "unless they have someone like me to turn it into a 3,000-square-foot house." Soon enough, every homeowner in San Francisco will have a million-dollar view.

The city's semantic games and logic puzzles regarding home demolitions haven't prevented the wealthy from consuming the city's most available real estate and hawking it to the wealthier.

Drake Gardner’s design to replace this building at 125 Crown Terrace has been approved. The next step: “Build it — and not get in trouble with the inspector for taking out more than you designated you were going to.”
Photo on left by Andrew J. Nilsen
Drake Gardner’s design to replace this building at 125 Crown Terrace has been approved. The next step: “Build it — and not get in trouble with the inspector for taking out more than you designated you were going to.”
Former Supervisor Aaron Peskin says the Planning Department’s take on metamorphosing buildings “is tortured beyond a Kafka novel.”
Paul Trapani
Former Supervisor Aaron Peskin says the Planning Department’s take on metamorphosing buildings “is tortured beyond a Kafka novel.”

It's their world — and everyone else is just paying rent.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
7 comments
shadethrower
shadethrower

The "de facto" demolitions in this fine city are, however, not confined strictly to economic and policy bastardizations of residential properties. Ironically, both the Planning Department and the Department of Building Inspection are housed in built anew "remodeled" buildings brought to the City by a Texas developer. What is good for the goose is good for .......the rest of us?!?!

sfreptile
sfreptile

This has been the long standing joke in The City for years.  Once developers discovered they could build on the down side of the street, four and five stories in the back became common.  Look at Valley Street.  The major construction was down hill.   

There is a project on the 400 block that is truly reaching for China.  And that Cabana on Noe?  Protecting a couple of studs.  It is a well known game.  Shameless McGee (r.i.p.) was the best in the business. 


The new development on Diamond.  What a joke, the original developer wanted three houses of substance.  The building department recommended four.  


The developers enter public parks and cut down trees to jack up the speculated price for the new development.  Sometime for the good, but sometimes for the bad.  I doubt if they get fined like a resident does.  

This is a big time game, and you better find out, "On what side is your supervisor?"

herterb
herterb

It's business as usual in the corrupt SF Building and Housing Inspection Department. The top people have finally learned they must be more careful in their corruption after two of the heads had to resign in a row. One had condemned a property and then bought it, nothing new. It was rampant many decades ago so a system was implemented to help stop it allegedly. Inspectors were supposed to be rotated in what area of the city they cover every two years. Doubt they are still doing it and the senior people over them are not rotated and obviously the head person isn't. 

There are building inspectors who are contractors who are doing $1 million dollar remodels with just a $50K permit with the full knowledge of their boss and the top people at DBI. 

 The journalists and city supervisors are afraid to write an article for fear they will be targeted by the DBI for inspections of their property. The FBI is supposed to investigate corruption in local government but won't bother, they want headlines for their work.

edilist
edilist

If you are a wealthy developer or client of a developer, your connections to city hall will get you whatever you want in SF.  As the article mentioned, the system is literally designed for these folks.

It does not matter if it's permits, traffic tickets, or city jobs.Sure, it's a less blatant form of corruption...hidden behind forms, city departments, bogus hearings, and such.  However the amount of money involved with this institutionalized corruption dwarfs the overt petty bribery we self-righteously identify in other parts of the world.

If you are a person such as myself, without any connections, you are simply out of luck.  Trying to add one bedroom to a two bedroom house for our second baby has proved fruitless.  So like many others we are likely going to move.  One more family chased out of a city that only really pays lip service to wanting them to stay.

MossyBuddha
MossyBuddha

OK, so this is a nice little story but the argument that creative renovations of buildings on underutilized properties in supply constrained and highly demanded neighborhoods is destroying affordable housing how? stopping an expansion isn't going to somehow make the housing all that more affordable.  (relatively) affordable family housing is in the neighborhoods the big money avoids like bayview, portola, and ingleside, and vis valley. new megaprojects at hunters point and treasure island and the new units out at park merced will take some pressure off and provide people with modern places to live. we'll also build more affordable housing through prop C funds and other inclusionary sources.  is it enough?  probably not.  but to pass off the disagreements of reasonably wealthy people (and with only a passing mention of the tenants who are collateral damage) as some sort of big thing about affordable housing is just silly.

Tami Twarog
Tami Twarog

Great article. Love that pic of Aaron Peskin "tortured beyond a Kafka novel" Indeed.

hplovecraft
hplovecraft

Sounds like you got some skin in this game...

 
©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.
Loading...