Battle for ownership of San Francisco's Presidio Terrace ends as sale rescinded

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to rescind the sale of Presidio Terrace. The supervisors vote was 7 yes votes to 4 no votes.

This means that ownership of the street goes back to the homeowners for now.

RELATED: SF leaders consider rescinding sale of private street

The exclusive Presidio Terrace neighborhood of San Francisco has been both a homeowner's nightmare and dream since last summer, depending on who you believe.

"For me to have the opportunity to own any piece of San Francisco. To own any piece of San Francisco is my American dream," said street owner Tina Lam. "Right now is it pride of ownership for us."

Michael Cheng and his wife Tina are the couple who paid roughly $90,000 for Presidio Terrace when the city auctioned it off for non-payment of taxes of $14 a year over many years.

The homeowner's association appealed to San Francisco's Board of Supervisors to get the street back Tuesday.

Attorney Matt Dorsey said the Tax Collector/Treasurer's Assesor Officer failed to properly notify residents, violating their constitutional rights.

"It could have been posted. They could have been trying harder to find the proper address -- using a telephone," said Dorsey.

"Does that mean when you live on one of the most exclusive streets in San Francisco, and you are wealthy and politically connected, you get a different system than the rest of us," questioned Shep Kopp, the attorney for the street purchasers.

Among those weighing in Tuesday was former Presidio Terrace homeowner Senator Dianne Feinstein, who wrote to the board: "In the United States of America, no one should lose property at the hands of the government without knowing about it."

Lam argues, "They did not pay attention to take care of the property."

Ultimately, the decision to rescind the sale of the street came down Tuesday evening to the delight of homeowners.
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