Residents in an exclusive San Francisco neighborhood are furious after a couple from San Jose bought their entire street at an auction — and are considering charging residents money for parking.
The San Francisco Chronicle reports that San Jose residents Tina Lam and Michael Cheng bought the entire street of Presidio Terrace for just $90,000 two years ago at a city-run auction.
The couple was able to buy the incredibly valuable private way for so little money because the neighborhood’s homeowner’s association repeatedly failed to pay a $14-a-year property tax bill, which led the city of San Francisco to auction the street to recoup lost revenue.
For the past two years, the couple has been quiet about its plans for what it’s going to do with its street — until recently when they revealed they are considering charging money for residents to park along the street, or to open the street up for outsiders to rent their own parking spots.
“I was shocked to learn this could happen, and am deeply troubled that anyone would choose to take advantage of the situation and buy our street and sidewalks,” one Presidio Terrace homeowner told the Chronicle.
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.
“Ninety-nine percent of property owners in San Francisco know what they need to do, and they pay their taxes on time — and they keep their mailing address up to date,” she said.