I just talked to city code enforcement officer Jason Lo, who investigated the house in question.* He said that since there was no stove in the downstairs units, then there is nothing the city can do. Nine unrelated people live there with 10 cars. It seems clear to me that some contractors buy houses they do not intend to live in, fix up the houses, add rooms, then turn them into for-profit rooming houses. If a house is purchased for the sole purpose of renting out rooms, then it is a business venture and not a residential situation that the property was zoned for. These contractors are endangering property values and diminishing the quality of life in Pacifica.
Alan Carlos Hernandez
Adjunct Professor of Mass Communications, Patten University, Oakland
*Hernandez and his neighbors have reported this violation to the city attorney, asking for legal action. The names and addresses of the parties involved are on file with the city, but are not posted here for privacy reasons.
Jim Wagner forwards this letter from Jason Lo: In response to the article posted on September 22, 2009, my investigation confirmed the following: On 09-20-09, I performed a site inspection in the presence of property owner Lam. Lam and I toured the property. There was no evidence of a 2nd unit on the ground level floor. I did not observe a cooking appliance in the ground level rooms. Further to that, I did not observe a violation of the Pacifica Municipal Code. Thank you for taking time to inquire about this situation. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me at (650) 738-7343 during the hours listed below: Monday-Tuesday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., Friday 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.