July 8, 2011

NVV July 2011: We Read It So You Don't Have To

The Noe Valley Voice is published ten times a year and has been a neighborhood fixture since 1977. Here are highlights from the latest issue. Links are to items we've covered here on NVSF or outside sources as the Voice doesn't post stories online until mid-month.

July/August 2011

Front Page: Noe Valley guest vacation rental collective and directory launches called NVHOO (Noe Valley Home Owners Organization) - a place to stash relatives and visiting friends in the 'hood. The group has about 2 dozen vacation rentals - prices range from $500 to $2900 per week. Local merchants Noeteca, Drewe's, Terra Mia, Nomad Rugs, and HeliotropeSF jump on the Groupon and LivingSocial craze - while others aren't so happy with the kinds of clients these "deals" bring. And Friends of Noe Valley kicks off a new season with a meeting on July 27 at 7PM at St. Philip's Parish Hall (though strangely you won't find the meeting on the FONV website yet).

Letters: A long bit of hate mail for cell phone antennas; a frustrated Chattanooga resident railing about the draconian crackdown on sidewalk parking; a plea for drivers and pedestrians to be respectful on 24th St. so nobody gets hurt; and some snark from Theresa (last name withheld) about last month's pet lover: "Perhaps her parents should have had a dog instead of her." Meow!

Cost of Living in Noe: 17 single-family homes traded hands in May 2011, almost twice as many as May 2010; 15 of those sold for more than $1 million, and 4 sold for over $2 million.

Short Takes: Friends of the Urban Forest (FUF) has neighborhood ambassadors who want to find homes for new trees in Noe; NV residents can weigh in on new public school boundaries.

Traveling Voice:  It's back! Readers schlepped copies of the the newspaper to Turkey and Java.

Store Trek: Noe Valley Smiles and Braces; Pot + Pantry.

Rumors: Still no news on Real Foods except this tidbit from Scott Weiner that Neutraceutical is "paying approximately $50,000 a year in property taxes," and a mention of the comment thread on NVSF about what should happen to the Real Foods space including a nod to Nelson's line: "You could probably fit two title companies in there, maybe a nails/waxing salon in back...."; the corner of 24th and Diamond is set to become a children's activity center called Little Lounge; Pixie Hall Studios is looking for a property owner in the Diamond/Elizabeth area to let them use a back yard for an "art of gardening" class; La Boulange has hired a "world-class chef" to create new items on the menu that reflect Provencal and Southern France cuisine; Firefly is regaining former chef Luke Prellwitz, and Fireflied chicken is still the favorite on the menu; Noe Valley resident and celeb chef Tracy des Jardins of Jardiniere got the runner-up spot on a recent Top Chef Masters show; Amberjack is becoming Kama Sushi; and Mike Skoufas is returning to barber at Of Barbers and Bears on 24th Street between Castro/Diamond.

[The Noe Valley Voice]


murphstahoe said...

The corner of 24th and Diamond is set to become a children's activity center called Little Lounge.

"baby stores or baby gyms or baby anything are bad for Noe."

- Anonymous

Oh well, it was a nice neighborhood while it lasted.

Anonymous said...

Hey folks, I have a few questions that've bugged me since I moved to SF long ago. All of these VRBO/rentals..I like them and they seem harmless. However, a few questions to those who might know?
a) how/do the owners report this income?
b) does the city get any tax income from folks staying in these places (like they would if it was a normal hotel / motel)?
and c) is there any zoning on these or whatever? (like, if my next door neighbor suddenly did this full time, I'd be a bit bummed with all of the coming/going of visitors and lack of normal owner or renter neighbors).
Just curious as they always seem really sweet/nice, but I guess something just bothers me about how these don't seem subject to normal business (motel) rules nor tenant rules or whatever.

Anonymous said...

Note: just re-read my post and yeah, while I am a little skeptical on these places, I didn't mean to come across so much. I am actually genuinely interested in how these are meant to be run and how the city sees these places, etc?

Anonymous said...

We live by a duplex that the owner has advertised for years for international "students" and short term rentals. Constant moving in and out and they converted their garage into bedrooms so off street parking was lost too. They are zoned as 2 units but it operates like a boarding house to where the impact is more like 3-4 units. They leave their trash cans out front all the time, etc. Just saying that some of these only benefit the owners and not the neighbors. The City advised they can do monthly rentals so I don't know how less than 30 days are legal. God knows if they pay taxes, etc...

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, could some of these vacation rentals be another unintended consequence of rent control?

murphstahoe said...

@Anon -

My wife and I own two and run one vacation rental properties (Murph's Tahoe and one in Healdsburg), listed solely on VRBO. The income (and deductions) are reported on Schedule E (I think it's E - our accountant does it). If someone running one in Noe isn't reporting the income, they are in violation with the IRS (and probably not very smart - it's not very difficult with our tax codes to turn that income into a tax loss, so there isn't much incentive to not report it).

We collect 9% occupancy tax from all of our tenants and send a check to Sonoma County every 90 days, as well as an annual check for a permit. I assume San Francisco County works the same.

When we were shopping in Healdsburg, we wanted something in town. We were told that the zoning restrictions in the city limits of Healdsburg did not allow vacation rentals, so we found something outside the city limits. Not sure what the rules are here, but I'm sure there are some.

I'm not aware of any local governments who have used VRBO to produce a set of properties to audit, but it's a pretty visible place and the penalties for breaking zoning and tax evasion would be pretty harsh. Someone in Sonoma was not paying the occupancy taxes and when the County found out, the back taxes, penalties, and interest effectively equated to them losing their property.

I've used VRBO to rent several places in the past and have never really run into anyone who seemed below board, though I've never experienced any strict screening from them.

murphstahoe said...

One more empty store front

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the detailed reply Murphstahoe, appreciate the time you took.

I may have to see if I can find out how SF city looks at this, curious.

murphstahoe said...

You might even be able to just ask the NVHOO!

Anonymous said...

Yea, we loved the "detailed" reply.

totally made my life better.

Anonymous said...

seems like Murph is very busy promoting himself at every opportunity.

Anonymous said...

I would think from his constant ranting and diatribe a few months ago about the Noe Valley street closing debacle, he would be one of the most disliked people here in NV.

Bookmom said...

Hey Anonymous,, There was never a "vote" on closing the street off, it was decided by those who yelled loudest at meetings. I'm still waiting for all the folks who wouldn't consider the street closure, a perfect place to move the farmer's market, to start donating to the Noe Valley Ministry Lot purchase.....we could have had a "free plaza" for a price of minor inconvenience for drivers and now a home for the farmer's market will cost taxpayers and neighbors millions.

Kindledad said...

And thankfully, we don't allow "every" civic change to a public vote. That's why we have elected officials.

Jym said...

=v= Murph is, actually, well-loved in Noe Valley.

Kindledad said...

Well, perhaps not to everyone. He comes off very arrogant, self-entitled, a bike nut, anti-car and suburban in his way of thinking how to live. His little self-indulgent blog is full of anti-car, pro bike tales, often enhanced.


Anonymous said...

Says the artist formerly known as Rocky's Dad?

Anonymous said...

Cat died. Replaced with a kindle. Not old school "book", not new school "iPad". Perfect metaphor for him.

Anonymous said...

Back to the VRBO question. Interesting story in today's NYT.

"A three-decade-old ordinance forbids San Francisco property owners from renting out a private residence for fewer than 30 days without acquiring an expensive permit to convert the property to tourist use. But the measure is essentially unenforced."


The usual Noe Valley commenters are all about "the effect on the neighbors" but really this is an affordable housing issue.

Anonymous said...

I can tell you one thing; Murphy is NOT LIKED by the natives. And we still live here and always will. Thanks to our low property taxes!!!!!