Couple buys private street inside wealthy SF community for $90k

A rich and exclusive San Francisco community was shocked to discover their private street had been auctioned off after their housing association failed to pay three decades worth of property taxes to the city.


NSFW    SAN FRANCISCO — A bunch of wealthy San Francisco homeowners are freaking out after finding out the street inside their posh, gated community had been sold to the highest bidder.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that couple Tina Lam and Michael Cheng paid $90,000 at a 2015 city auction for an oval-shaped street inside swanky Presidio Terrace, which includes pavements, trees and all other common areas.

Ironic, considering the fact that until a racial covenant was banned in 1948, only whites were allowed to buy property there. Both Lam and Cheng are of Asian descent.

Lam and Cheng owe their thanks to unpaid property taxes — specifically, the three decades worth of taxes the Presidio homeowners association didn't pay and claim they had no knowledge of.

Supposedly, the bills were being sent to an old accountant that hadn't worked for the homeowners since the 80s. When no one paid up, the city auctioned off the property to recover the $944 they were owed. And oh man, did they recover it.

The deal is pretty sweet for the new landowners too, who could start charging for parking privileges, or lease it out to people beyond the gates. Even selling it back to the association is going to get them a pretty penny.

But pissed-off Presidio residents are crying foul and are trying to get their street back the best way they know how — by suing the crap out of everyone.

They're claiming the sale was unlawful, the city didn't go to enough effort to notify them beforehand, and the buyers are taking advantage of the bureaucratic oversight.

The city Board of Supervisors has scheduled a hearing for October after the residents petitioned to have the sale rescinded.
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