April 16, 2013

Blight Watch: What's Up With 1220 Church St?

A letter to the Editor in the April 2013 Noe Valley Voice asked about the vacant 2-unit Edwardian at 1220-1222 Church St. We were able to report that the City considers it abandoned and an investigation is ongoing. Today we noticed scaffolding on the facade and demolition crews on site and dug a little deeper.

According to records on the Department of Building Inspection's website, an October 2005 complaint was filed by a tenant stated there was no heat and that water leaks were throughout apartment, and it snowballed from there. A Notice of Violation as issued for various issues with the code, but most significantly for an illegal unit in the garage.

Some of the minor violations were corrected and heat was provided by Feb 2006; the heat stopped working a month later. No permits were pulled to remove the illegal unit in the garage until Nov 2007. It appears the unit was removed, but the permit was never finalized and other structural problems remained.

A new complaint filed by the tenant in October 2008 stated the landlord had turned off the water. More inspections confirmed there was no water, and that other violations were still outstanding. There's no indication that the water was ever turned on, and there's no further communication from the tenant.

The latest complaint was filed in June 2012: "This building is vacant, Broken glass on the front area - Peeling paint, 2nd floor ceiling about to cave in; there is a lot of debris in the front area of the property behind their gate. Dry rot in the structure. Overgrown yard ... lots of weeds." Attempts to reach the owner have failed, and no one representing the property showed up to a hearing on April 2, 2013. It appears that the City may be trying to take control of the property and likely put it up for auction, but we can't confirm.

At this point, what we know for sure is that the building is owned by The Perez Family Trust and that they filed two Ellis Act Petitions in 2006 (PDF). We know that the complaints are outstanding, and we know there are no new construction or demolition permits. It would be interesting to know the history of how the family has fared and if this is a byproduct of a long foreclosure process.

At any rate, the scaffold hints at fresh paint and the noise from inside suggests this building could be inhabited sometime in the near future. Maybe - they better figure out the permit problems and make nice with the DBI.

[Photo: Google Street View]


Anonymous said...

It already looks better than this photo.