Business

Wealthy San Francisco residents lose private street over tax bill

Wealthy San Francisco residents lose private street over tax bill

Their exclusive street, home to 35 mega-mansions, has been bought by an unassuming couple looking to bend them over a barrel financially.

Tina Lam and Michael Cheng have secretly been the proud owners of the sidewalks, roads, manicured islands and other previously public areas of Presidio Terrace for two years now.

Presidio Terrace is an oval shaped street sealed off by a gate from the tony Presidio Heights neighbourhood. It's a steep price to be neighbours with the likes of Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who have called the street home.

However, the homeowners on Presidio Terrace are crying foul.

Somehow payment of the $14-a-year property tax on the street was overlooked for decades, and that led the city to sell the street for taxes and a little bit more.

The unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest added up to $US994 - a mere fraction of the purchase price for the street, footpaths, and "common ground" that Lam and Cheng now control. Now the issue is, the residents of Presidio Terrace, who are mostly high net worth individuals, were kept in dark before the sale and now, when they got to know this, they are furious.

Cheng and Lam's bargain deal for the wealthy land is being contested, however.

More news: Marvel stars sign up for The Lion King remake
More news: For Honor - Free to play this weekend on all platforms 08.08.17
More news: "Top Chef" host testifies about confrontation with Teamster

Now Lam and Cheng are thinking about making a profit from their investment by renting the 120 parking spaces on the street. Lang articulates they wanted to buy the street out of affection for San Francisco: "I really just wanted to own something in San Francisco because of my affinity for the city".

The homeowners association lawsuit alleges that the couple is only using the threat of charging for parking to incentivize them to buy the street back, but Lam claims she and Cheng have no plans to part with the property.

The homeowners are appealing to the Board of Supervisors, and a hearing is set for October 31. In addition, they also blame the city for not sending them a written notice of the default or the 2015 property auction.

Others complained that the city did not notify them of the auction.

Amanda Fried, a spokeswoman for Treasurer-Tax Collector Jose Cisneros' office, told the Chronicle that the residents could have avoided all this trouble if they had simply ensured they paid their taxes.

And in a particularly savory plot twist: Presidio Terrace enforced racial covenants-meaning only white home-buyers were allowed to purchase homes in the neighborhood-until the Supreme Court found such housing discrimination to be unconstitutional in 1948.

It appears the residents of Presidio Terrace will need to learn how to keep their mailing addresses up-to-date and pay their taxes on time. The homeowners association has also sued the couple and the city, seeking to block the couple from selling the street to anyone while the city appeal is pending.


  • Vietnam takes on China for its expansionist policies in South China Sea

    Vietnam takes on China for its expansionist policies in South China Sea

    Four ASEAN member states - Brunei, Malaysia, Vietnam and the Philippines, have claims in the waters that compete with China's. He stressed that China supports ASEAN to continue to play a central role in regional cooperation.
    OnePlus 5 Soft Gold variant is official; available in 'select quantities'

    OnePlus 5 Soft Gold variant is official; available in 'select quantities'

    Connectivity features include 4G LTE, dual-band Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth v5.0, NFC, GPS / A-GPS and USB Type-C (v2.0). The good thing is that the price is the same as the Slate Gray version with the same 6GB of RAM and 64GB of onboard storage.

    Lunar Eclipse to be visible in Pakistan Today

    The eclipse will travel faster than the speed of sound, crossing the entire United States in roughly 90 minutes. But the 70-mile-wide "path of totality", in which a total eclipse will be visible, will pass through 14 states.
  • Iranian drone comes within 100 feet of US Navy jet

    Iranian drone comes within 100 feet of US Navy jet

    The Navy has called this new incident between iranian forces and the us navy in the Persian Gulf as "unsafe and unprofessional". Central Command declared the incident "unsafe and unprofessional", calling it was a breach of global maritime customs and laws.
    Gujarat Rajya Sabha election 2017: Votings ends, Congress MLA cross-votes

    Gujarat Rajya Sabha election 2017: Votings ends, Congress MLA cross-votes

    After the meeting, Chidambarm told reporters,"If the BJP is so confident of winning the election then it must abide by the law ". The JD (U) said Vasava had voted for the BJP on the direction of Bihar Chief minister and party chief Nitish Kumar.
    Google CEO Cuts Vacation Short To Deal With Crisis Over Diversity Memo

    Google CEO Cuts Vacation Short To Deal With Crisis Over Diversity Memo

    He also asserted that women are underrepresented in the top tiers of leadership due to their own preferences, not discrimination. Damore said he was exploring all possible legal remedies, and that before being fired , he had submitted a charge to the U.S.
  • Branden Albert Is Reconsidering His Week-Old Retirement

    Branden Albert Is Reconsidering His Week-Old Retirement

    The Jaguars, who are holding joint practices with the Patriots in New England, declined to comment on the situation Monday . With Albert out of the picture the Jaguars will likely turn to rookie Cam Robinson at left tackle.
    Pentagon Issues Guidance on Unauthorized Drone Operations Near Military Installations

    Pentagon Issues Guidance on Unauthorized Drone Operations Near Military Installations

    That announcement didn't say anything about the military reserving the right to obliterate or intercept drones, however. However, Davis told reporters that the changes had been vetted by the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
    ASEAN foreign ministers endorse COC framework on S. China Sea rows

    ASEAN foreign ministers endorse COC framework on S. China Sea rows

    Tillerson is meeting with South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha in the Philippines on the sidelines of a regional summit. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday and both described as a "good outcome" the passing of the tougher U.N sanctions.
  • Playing violent video games may be bad for the brain

    Playing violent video games may be bad for the brain

    Canadian researchers found hard core action game players had less gray matter in their hippocampus. Researchers first determined whether the 100 participants were spatial or response learners.
    Karan Johar, Kajol patch up: Check when and how

    Karan Johar, Kajol patch up: Check when and how

    On the occasion of Raksha Bandhan , Karan posted a picture of his kids, Roohi and Yash, with his mother Hiroo on Instagram. Hindi film industry has seen many friendships going sour and stars vowing to never work or talk to each other.
    Christy Clark to resign as leader of BC Liberals, MLA

    Christy Clark to resign as leader of BC Liberals, MLA

    CHRISTY Clark announced on Friday that she will step down as BC Liberal Party leader on August 4. Clark had said she would say on as opposition leader. "I'm disappointed.