Article - Rich SF residents get a shock: Someone bought their street

JNA

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#1
http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/...dents-get-a-shock-Someone-bought-11738236.php

HIGHLIGHTS
The couple’s purchase appears to be the culmination of a comedy of errors involving a $14-a-year property tax bill that the homeowners association failed to pay for three decades.
It’s something that the owners of all 181 private streets in San Francisco are obliged to do.

As for the threat to charge them for parking, the residents suspect it’s part of a pressure campaign by the couple to force the homeowners association to shell out big bucks to buy back the street.
 

mendelman

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Oh well. They should make sure their tax bill mailing address is up to date.
 

luckless pedestrian

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As I commented on LinkedIn when someone posted the article: this is on my long list of why I really do not like private ways
 
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#6
Here in the office we kicked the idea around if it was considered a taking, or not. We came to the conclusion that because the HOA (private org.) previously owned the street that it didn't really matter if the new owners were private. But there is some argument to be made that the HOA has public input through a board, adopted by-laws, etc., that make it more like a public agency than private - maybe that's the why/how HOAs are entrusted with maintaining residential access (?). I suppose it was up to the SF City/County to decide if the transfer of interest violated the affected residents' public access rights. It could be, though, that the residents retain an access easement on their deeds; so really, the only issue is which organization maintains the road and collects reasonable fees to do so. Ultimately, of course, it will be determined in court when (more likely if) the new owners start to gouge the residents with fees - excessive fees could constitute damages and then, arguable, a taking.

The more interesting discussion is why would someone would buy a private road from a HOA. I have to assume that either the property was distressed and they got it for pennies on the dollar and the transfer of interest settled debts and they expect a much higher value once settled - i.e. sell back to a new HOA for double their original investment; or, they plan on setting up paid on-street parking either hourly, monthly, or via permit. That way they could collect the money and really not do anything.
 
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A tony private street in the Richmond that was sold to a San Jose couple for $90,000 in a little-noticed tax auction over two years ago will be returned to the residents who live there.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted 7-4 to overturn the sale of Presidio Terrace, a looping, exclusive street that went on the auction block after its residents failed to pay $994 in back taxes.
http://www.sfgate.com/politics/article/SF-supervisors-to-vote-on-returning-private-12389377.php
 
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