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News Release: 2004-03-17

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Herrera's Nob Hill Code Enforcement Action Nets $500,000 Settlement, 117 New Residential Units

Apartments Used for Executive Suites and Tourist Hotel Rentals Now Protected as Residential Housing Stock for San Francisco Tenants

SAN FRANCISCO (Mar. 17, 2004) -- City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced a settlement in the City's lawsuit charging the owner and operators of Nob Hill's Grosvenor Suites with converting residential apartments and single-room occupancy (SRO) units into executive suite housing and tourist hotel rentals, in violation of the San Francisco Apartment Conversion Ordinance and Planning Code. As part of the stipulation for injunction and monetary judgment filed in San Francisco Superior Court last week, representatives of Grosvenor Properties Ltd. and the general partnership known as "Dr. R" have agreed to numerous measures to ensure that the 117 apartments and 19 SRO hotel units at 899 Pine Street covered in the City's lawsuit will be used for long-term, residential housing rather than as temporary lodging for corporate executives and tourists. The defendants also paid the City $500,000 to settle the litigation.

"This is an excellent settlement that will make a real difference for hundreds of San Franciscans currently being squeezed by our chronic housing shortage," said Herrera. "To anyone who doubts our resolve to defend San Francisco's residential housing stock, this case should send a clear, unequivocal message that we're ready to fight--and win--to protect tenants from the unlawful excesses of corporate landlords."

As part of its settlement agreement with the City, Grosvenor Suites will refrain from renting the effected 117 apartments and 19 SRO units for terms of less than 30 days, thereby enabling San Francisco residents to obtain long-term rights of tenancy. Some 69 units at the 899 Pine Street property are not covered by the San Francisco Apartment Conversion Ordinance or the Planning Code. A prior court ruling held that none of the 69 had been used as permanent residential housing since the ordinance's enactment in June 1981.

"I am happy to commend the good work of Deputy City Attorney Niall Vignoles on this case," Herrera said. "There is no more important responsibility of the City Attorney's Office than to enforce and uphold laws intended to protect the health, safety and welfare of our people, and I'm proud to have a Code Enforcement and Residential Protection Team that so ably reflects that important priority."

The lawsuit is City and County of San Francisco and People of the State of State of California v. Dr. R and Grosvenor Properties Ltd., San Francisco Superior Court Case No. 413-468. (Copies of the stipulation and the related court order are available by fax upon request.)

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Last updated: 9/8/2009 4:16:41 PM