SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — A key vote is looming Monday evening that could potentially block the sale of a street and sidewalk in a wealthy San Francisco neighborhood.
The showdown over the sale of property on Presidio Terrace just south of the Presidio is set for Tuesday’s hearing by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors.
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Senator Dianne Feinstein and her husband once had a home in the ritzy neighborhood.
Earlier this year, a couple from outside the neighborhood managed to buy the street and sidewalks.
“They bought it fair and square,” said SF Supervisor Aaron Peskin. “Having said that, we are going to determine if the tax collector followed the law was it was written.”
The supervisors are being asked to decide if the street’s 35 wealthy homeowners were properly notified that they were behind on their taxes — which is what led to the street and sidewalks being sold out from under them — or if the $90,000 tax sale to Michael Cheng and Tina Lam stands.
Both sides are lobbying the supervisors for the six needed votes.
“The reception has been pretty cool overall. I don’t get the sense that they are very keen on backing the state law and the tax collector on this,” said Cheng.
“From the beginning the issue has been that the property was sold without anyone’s knowledge,” said Presidio spokesman Matt Dorsey.
Peskin has been pouring over the arguments from both sides.
“There are no procedures in our codes because this has never been used before,” said Peskin.
Even Senator Feinstein waded into the fray, saying the tax collector dropped the ball.
“They called in Feinstein. They called in a big PR firm, a big legal team,” said Cheng. “That’s a lot going against us.”
If the process was unconstitutional, then the sale shouldn’t have happened, argued Dorsey.
However, Peskin insisted that the case was a legal matter.
“Look, this is not a political decision. This is really about looking at the law, said Peskin.
Both sides have been urged to come up with a deal, but so far they remain far apart. Cheng says it is not about money.
“They don’t feel comfortable having us in the community,” said Cheng.
Apparently there have been some negotiations, but the details have not been revealed.
“I can confirm that there have been talks and that is all that I can confirm,” explained Dorsey.
The hearing is scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m.