A San Francisco homeowner mentioned, Lifang Zhang, a street inspector trainee from the San Francisco Department Of Public Works (DPW), sent a notice to remove the homeowner's planter boxes. This is despite the planter boxes being on the homeowner's property, three feet tall, and not closed off.
Anybody can easily walk around the planter boxes to step on the homeowner's land. However, The Department of Public Works said if the planter boxes are not removed within 30 days, the city would issue a fine.
As you can see from the picture below, there is nothing wrong with these planter boxes. They allow access to the property easily as there are no gates or fences. They are beautifully done and adds value to the neighborhood.
Public Right Of Way Argument
The San Francisco Department Of Public Works said the public has a “public right of way” onto the homeowner's property. These beautiful planter boxes are illegal.
It makes no sense nice landscaping on your own property is illegal.
Why do homeowners need to let the public trample on their private property? The planter boxes are aesthetically pleasing and also prevent dogs from peeing and defecting on the owner's front yard.
Homeowners should be able to landscape their property as they please. If not homeowners shouldn't pay their property taxes. San Francisco property tax payers should receive benefits from the city, not penalties for improving their homes.
The San Francisco DPW Is Inefficient
Meanwhile, the owner is still waiting for two years for the city to fix a sidewalk outside the house, which is the city of San Francisco's responsibility. The San Francisco Department Of Public Works is hypocritical, terrible, and inefficient.
It is hypocritical for forcing homeowners to remove landscaping on the homeowner's property within 30 days. If the homeowner doesn't do so, the DPW will fine the homeowner for non-compliance.
It is incredible Lifang Zhang, Matt Czajkowski and other DPW employees have nothing better to do than to police what San Francisco homeowners can do on their land.
The reader reporting this DPW harassment has paid over $15,000 a year in property taxes each year since 2014. In return, the San Francisco Department Of Public Works provides no service, only harassment.
It cost the reader $3,500 to remove the planter boxes and re-landscape. What a waste of time and money!
San Francisco Department Of Public Works Finally Getting Sued
Finally, a homeowner is standing up to DPW, DBI and the city of San Francisco for overstepping their bounds. Mihal Emberton is suing San Francisco for $12 million after the city forced her to remove a fence and her fire pit on her property.
“It’s not about the money. It’s about changing the system,” said Mihal Emberton, who is representing herself in the multimillion dollar federal court lawsuit.
Emberton alleges that the city’s orders to remove a new arbor, fence and fire pit at her Ingleside Terraces home’s front yard, violates her civil rights, including the Fourth and 14th amendments to the Constitution.
The permitting enforcement saga—spanning several months, three city departments and more than $4,300 in enforcement fees levied against Emberton—emboldened Emberton to sue.
There is a reason why so many homeowners in San Francisco don't remodel with permits. It takes forever to get a permit first of all. Second, the homeowner has to pay higher property taxes forever due to higher assessed values after remodeling. Finally, homeowners get attacked by the city!
One Silver Lining To A Terrible DPW
The good thing about government inefficiency in real estate is that it is harder and more expensive to build homes. Therefore, the more corrupt and inefficient DBI, DPW, and other San Francisco real estate institutions are, the greater the likelihood San Francisco real estate prices will go up.
Here are the best neighborhoods to buy real estate in San Francisco. If you can buy a single-family home with a view of the ocean, you're likely going to make a lot of money over time.
Pick up a copy of Buy This, Not That, my instant Wall Street Journal bestseller. The book helps you make more optimal investment decisions so you can live a better, more fulfilling life.
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