tv [untitled] April 20, 2011 9:30am-10:00am PDT
approximately 90 days. we have the building permit issued. it takes -- we have a notice of termination to the tenants that was just filed a week or so go by an attorney, clifford freed, and at that point he's giving a 60-day notice of termination. we have the permit. the permit's fine and we want to revert it back to office space. it should be noted that in the history of this that when this space was rented it was a commercial space. i can get a copy if you wish. the work that was done without the approval of the owner or his authorization or knowledge.
the other thing involved is that there are approximately seven people who are there. what we want to do is take -- i want to go from 1993. part of the problem of the time that it's taken is that the $93,000 was based upon an estimate. we went through the permit history and there were some partitiones that were put in the 1930's and 1940's and some bathrooms were put in the 1920's. this was originally a warehouse and the top floor was used as warehouse space. it was a shifting and windling to determine which things were done with permit and which things weren't. we were shown that there was a fair amount of work done with partitions. there was an elevator put in over the course of the years. so what happened was there was -- it took time between that
$93,000 to bring it down to $20,000. that was -- we had to do research. we had to go out to the property. that type of thing. we can go into this with more questions. however, what we're asking for today sf 90 days which -- so that the tenants can vacate and we can remove what sill legally put in, put up an up-to-date, code complying access -- handicapped access compliant bathroom and simply then leave the space the way it is and the way it was originally intended to be. in terms of our investigation fee, it was never our reason to talk about the fee. what we are talking about is the assessment of costs that are attended with an order of
abatement. that was the intent on this application to file this appeal. we're not asking for that. we need time because of the legal issues involved and the work. and that was the -- the cost done without the permit. the $93,000 was critical before we had to have that ironed out before we could file the permit. so that took some staff. by the way, the staff from the director, chief inspector were very cooperative. very cooperative. very helpful to us in this whole process. so working with staff for the last three, four months to clear this. we simply want to clear it and make the building code compliant. thank you. and mr. sessinger is here.
president lee: commissioner murphy. commissioner murphy: does any of the tenants, do you have any -- do any of these tenants have leases? >> here's mr. sessinger. he can answer that. >> there is the original rental agreement which is a commercial rental agreement which we have copies of and that was from 2005 and it's month to month. and the tenants have been given a 60-day notice by clifford freed who specializes in landlord tenant. this is a contentious issue in san francisco when you have a residential unit that's a nonconforming. they still have tenant rights under the residential rent stabilization ordinance. so it's a very tricky situation , and any gas thrown on this fire will exacerbate it. and we have this fire well
under control and a definite timeline to complete this. commissioner murphy: can you be a little more specific? i understand there is a commercial on the lower level and possibly there was a commercial lease for that. the original residential leases for the other units? >> no. commissioner murphy: ok. that's all i wanted to know. commissioner murphy: thank you. president lee: commissioner walker and then mar. commissioner walker: this residency began in 2005. looking at the shower, etc., it looks to me that these are much older than that. i could be wrong. >> yeah. those were there but, remember, you can have showers in a commercial unit in the event that you're dealing with toxics. so the fact there is a shower in there to me doesn't dictate -- commissioner walker: i'm curious what you're renting this out for.
>> it's commercial. multimedia arts. i have the lease. commissioner walker: so you've never been there inspecting your property? >> yes. you can't tell the people living there, depending on when you're there and what type of camouflage is being used. in is a 3,500 square foot large commercial space. commissioner walker: what were you renting at a rate of? i'm curious. >> $4,500 per month. commissioner walker: 3,500 square feet. president lee: commissioner mar. commissioner mar: i want to follow-up on commissioner murphy's questions. was it all seven of the tenants or was it just one person and everybody sublet from him which was mentioned in the report? >> the original lease in 2005 was with -- was with the one master tenant.
commissioner mar: and that person is still there? >> no. that person is no longer there. commissioner mar: none of the existing seven people living there was part of that lease? >> correct. commissioner mar: and some of the illegal work that was done, was it done by the tenants or -- >> to my knowledge, yes. and if you look at the quality of the work, you can tell by the pictures it certainly wasn't done by a general contractor that i would have hired. commissioner mar: but it wasn't anything that the property owner -- you as the property manager was aware of? >> i've been the manager for 15 years and no, no. not our work. >> as a matter of fact, in the kitchen area there are cabinets that are not attached to the water. it has a very, very temporary nature to it. something like you'd -- something at ikea or something like that, goodwill, kind of put it there and secured it to the wall. it's very temporary.
some of the things. not all of them. particularly in the kitchen. president lee: commissioner hechanova. commissioner hechanova: at the time it was rented out, would there have been, because of its commercial space, a need for at certain points potentially fire extinguishers? >> yeah. there's fire extinguishers in there. indeed -- and mr. fong can testify to this. when we had the city attorney come through with the task force, the fire department was there. it was the vermin -- what do they call it -- the woman with the -- you know, for the cockroaches and the rats -- what's that -- the city attorney was there, the fire department was there, alex fong was there, i was there. there was eight or 10 of us going through. the fire department did nothing. there are fire extinguishers in
there. commissioner hechanova: isn't there a requirement to have on an annual basis to get the fire extinguishers checked? >> according to my information, the only compliance on -- and i'm not sure on commercial -- but on residential on three units and up the city is supposed to come through every three to five years and check that. unfortunately with cuts they don't do that anymore. in commercial i have no knowledge that they have to come through and make you comply with fire extinguishers, no. that's my understanding. >> this is not in our two occupancy. commissioner walker: it's a c-3 ? >> it's an r-3. it's one unit not legally in there. >> at some point in time that you visited over the five years the unit by which you could have determined and who would
-- was paying the rent? commissioner hechanova: was it the former company? was it the former business organization? >> no. the lead tenant that was in there paid the rent. there was an aden dumb when the original -- adend dumb -- addendum rented it -- commissioner hechanova: was there a lease? >> yes. if the master tenant wants to sublet and the subtenant is viable, financially, etc., that you have to accept them. you can't unreasonably withhold consent. commissioner hechanova: thank you. >> again, all we're asking for is more time to work through the legal issues with the tenansy and do the construction and have it all legal. that's all we're asking for.
president lee: commissioner clinch. no? anybody else? commissioner walker: rebuttal. president lee: wait. wait. public comment? is there any public comment? commissioner walker: rebuttal and -- >> is there anybody for public comment? president lee: yes. >> public comment is three minutes. >> my name is elaine, i own the business below the unit in discussion now. i did not stand to be swrorn in so if you need -- sworn in so if you need to do that. >> do you swear that the testimony you are about to give is the truth to the best of your knowledge? >> i do. >> ok. >> i really don't have much to add other than they are definitely people living there. they have been there since i bought the business in 2007. they were there before. i'm not aware that they're a business of any sort except to have these parties on the
weekends. they are very disruptive to my business below. everything from threats to my employees to trash and broken bottles to lots of noise disrupting my employees on a basis to fear of altercation of human feesies being placed at our front door which kind of started all this and brought the police into it and i have pictures here. they have been an ongoing problem for us. if it returns to commercial tenancy i would be delighted. president lee: thank you. any other public comment? >> well, my name is scott. i have no legally binding information so i don't think i need to be sworn in. i was originally going to sit and observe this but i noticed something in the police report which was interesting. in regards to this use i would imagine this is extensive sort of thing in the soma district
that has gone on for decades. the artists have a long history. going back to the 1990's is something to be looked at. i don't know the usage or the current ten aths. if they are going through the rent board and eviction process, even if you want to get them out you can't do it until you go to the rent board. i don't know the current relationship between the subtenants and the owners. if it is a process going to i would recommend them get more time because they would need it to peaceably resolve this. the city is well aware of the large number of illegal conversions to residencies from apartments to artist warehouses to large multigroup buildings. it has a large number of business owners living within them. if the owner was in there as a single occupant i believe there are a lot of laws that would allow that as a caretaker on the property. and basically in regards to the police report, it does look like the tenants have had an
unfortunately negative interface with the people downstairs. i know one with the parties, the officer, larry bertrand, was under investigation. if there are regards to his report i refer to others. thank you for your time. president lee: any other public comment? commissioner walker: now rebuttal. the department. you have three minutes. the department goes first. president lee: if you have nothing to add, that's ok. >> senior housing inspector. time was granted for compliance
and we have been monitoring the case. the department recommendations still are the same, to uphold the decision to impose and enforce abatement with estimated work performed and to comply with notice of violation. president lee: thank you. no questions. appellant. >> thank you. president lee: thank you. >> bob noelke representing the property at 557 howard street. once again, i make the request for an additional 0 days for the reasons outlined above and -- 90 days for the reasons outlined above. and i think when we have that time we can comply and have a code complying building with a handicapped accessibility to that second floor. so i think it's a win/win for us. thank you. >> i have a question. the question i have is you're
asking for 90 days and before you said there was a period of 60 days before you had to evict the tenants so effectively you are asking for 30 days. >> 30 days to do the work. >> is that possible? >> i don't think -- >> then why -- >> 90 days i thought was a reasonable thing. if we would extend it beyond 90, beyond it to have at least 60 days to do the work that would really -- we would really appreciate that. that would be -- commissioner, that would be very helpful to us. because we need electrical, plumbing, building signoffs. president lee: ok. thank you. >> i will concur we will need time. and, remember, i'm not going to lie to you. this gentleman spelled it out. if the tenants dig in, could take months. that's not under our control. thank you.
president lee: commissioner walker and then murphy. commissioner walker: these issues where there's illegal occupancy and it happens as mr. kiper talked about in this area artists have historically rented out space from folks to use as their studio and slept there. it was the dot trying to solve that was live/work. we are now talking about in many groups throughout the city about accessory use and adaptive reuse for these very purposes. and i at this point -- i mean, i feel for everybody in this. i hope that our department can engage with the process of moving forward, creative ways of adaptively reusing these great old buildings that we have.
and i know this is an historic asset. i believe that the ground floor is. so i think that the issue for me in this is that tenants are involved. i'd like to support giving as much time as possible to allow their process with you and encourage a cooperative process in that. i am troubled that we're losing space that was probably occupied by artists in our community and hope that we can, you know, find solutions for that issue. so one of the other issues i'd like to bring up is the concern -- the big concern i have in this is the condition of these spaces and the habitability issues that are apparent in the photography. so health and safety issues are of utmost importance and in
landlords want to know about or do know about it, the work that's done should be providing health and safety space whatever's going on. so that's a big concern that in these illegal occupancies it's very unsafe. so i have those issues as we go forward. president lee: commissioner murphy. commissioner murphy: i'd like to make a motion and i agree with commissioner walker. i do think, you know, you have a task at hand to get the tenants to move out and you have a task at hand to bring the building back to its original. it is a beautiful building, landmark. my motion would be to give you -- i don't think you can do it in 60 days.
i give you 90 days to get the tenants out and the 30 days to get the work done. that's my motion. >> so 120 days? commissioner murphy: yes. president lee: maybe we can continue the matter and revisit this in 120 days and get an update. is that how we should do this? >> can't hear you. sorry. president lee: maybe we should continue this matter for 120 days and then revisit it at that time. and get an update from the project. can we do that? commissioner murphy: let's get some legal advice. >> it's up to the board how you want to proceed. commissioner murphy's pending motion would be a final decision today which is that the order of abatement would be stayed for 120 days. if all work is not completed by then then the order will automatically issue. president lee: ok. >> the alternative that commissioner lee is suggesting is get a status update and rendering a final decision.
president lee: the question is whether the abatement is upheld and the abatement is filed what happens to the tenants? >> nothing. it's just an abatement ordered and issued against the property. president lee: and leave it with commissioner murphy's motion. >> again, that motion is for 120 days. >> second. >> so 90 days. 90 days to get the permit. 30 days to get the work. do you want to specify? 90 days to get the -- commissioner murphy: 0 days to get the tenants out. -- 90 days to get the tenants out. >> i don't know 90 days to get the ten athants out. commissioner walker: 30 more to begin work on the permit that's already applied for. i think that's the case.
>> ok. commissioner murphy: i don't any to begin but i'd say to complete. and if it's not complete -- 120 days to complete. >> and the assessment of costs is upheld. president lee: so 120 days to complete the work and cost is upheld. >> all right. we will take a roll call vote. president lee. president lee: yes. vice president walker. commissioner walker: yes. commissioner murphy, commissioner mar and commissioner romero. we have ran unanimous decision. president lee: thank you. ok. next item, number -- number two. >> our next item is case number
two, number 6746, 149 bohna vista terrace. the owner of record and appellant is billy w. ewing and the action requested by the appellant is that the city and state have been slow in their assistance. we will first hear from the department. seven minutes. >> good morning, commissioners. i'm the chief plumbing inspector. we have 149 bohna vista terrace. we had a -- buena visa terrace. we had a complaint filed november 4, 2008. one of my inspectors went out to the premises, met with the owner and found that work was being performed without a permit at that time. posted the building for correction notice to make corrections to what was installed. it went through another visit
on december 12, an office visit from george wilson who told us he would come down with the permits of worbling that was performed. the permits he did was for work performed but not for the work performed inside the building. part of the work that was performed was a backwater valve that was installed to prevent any kind of water entering into the building and flooding out the i believe lower unit or bath radio. the work that was performed on it was for the house trap and i believe 10 to 15 feet of building sewer that was outside of the building. on december 16 we had a second posting for correction. and on december 18 we sent the second letter. we had no compliance. as of march 17, 2009, went to a director's hearing november 19
and recommendation was that a permit be obtained within 30 days and have the work corrected and a permit was obtained and 2010, may 21, 2010, was work that was obtained to correct the -- i'll put down what it said. from 149 buena visa avenue, the wrong address was on the first. to 149 buena vista terrace. and to pw-167692 to add a backwater valve and reroute four-inch main sewer. no inspections were ever performed on that permit. that's why we sent the notice that they still did not comply and still was not completed. my understanding was that there was a lower unit. from what i spoke with the
inspectors that there was a lower unit and a backwater valve was put in front of the bathroom or unit to prevent any backwater from entering in from the main sewer in the right location but was never inspected. the problem happened again so somebody went out and put in another backwater valve in the front of the building right before it exited the building. the problem with that is we have the rain water leerts that are coming off the -- leerts that are coming off the roof, the bathroom and the kitchen. if there's any kind of stop abbling until the h in the main -- it's an open and close -- always supposed to be in the open. if it closes because of back pressure, what will happen is any rain, any sewage would hit that location and actually start to back up into the building. now, we can all turn off the water to our houses but we can't turn off the rain. so that's why we in san francisco here because we have a combined system make it where the backwater valve has to be
located just for lower fixtures only, nothing for rain water that's above. so it can be controlled. at this time when our inspector went out he found this location and he posted it and that's where we're at today. president lee: what is the -- what's the remedy? different location for that backwater valve? >> the remedy -- there's two things. one is the main backwater valve has to be maintained by the owner of the property because if something gets inside it can cause a problem. so as a matter of fact, one of the inspectors went out there and asked that the lid be removed and the top would be removed and found there was something that was wrapped around the check which kept it open. that was one of the reasons there might have been a failure prior. i have no idea. the remedy for this would be that the actual fixtures that require the backwater protection that that valve is put in a proper location and if
there's any other fixtures that are located on that system that that would have backwater protection as well. also to find out if the main rain water liters or any drainage would have the right proper protection or located or rerouted to the proper location. president lee: so it's going to require some digging and identifying of lines? >> correct. well, from what i understand and from what i've been told, there is a backwater valve for that lower unit or the bottom area for that bathroom and there is a backwater valve there. so that backwater valve is protecting that. from what i understand is there is laundry that's down there that's not on that system. my suggestion would be a backwater valve that would be just for that laundry and then you have everything that's in that lower area protected. the other thing that i brought to my attention from other
people and contractors in the area, we have areas that tends to flood. there is a backup from the main sewer, that there is a release. i am willing to show anybody that design. it's my own design on how to relieve it. it might be the easiest way to correct the problem. at least give you some kind of -- but i don't do designs. that's not my job. i could just give an -- commissioner murphy: what about if they remedy the washing machine, back flow or backwater valve that you call it, if they do that, will that take care of this problem? >> if they put a backwater valve on that washing machine and the backwater valve for that lower bathroom and everything is in the correct location -- i haven't seen it. i don't know. if everything is in the correct location that should stop any future backups into that location as long as that's maintained and that's