UPDATE: Thursday, April 24th, 2014
Re: All-Star Hotel
Melissa Lall (Melissa.Lall@sfgov.org)
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Hello Mr. Brown,
Thank you for visiting our office today. After our meeting, I met with an attorney in my office who has previously looked into this property. We reviewed the documents you provided as well as information from the Department of Building Inspection’s website. Here is an update on this property:
Complaint #201234101 was issued a Notice of Violation on 6/1/2012 & a second Notice of Violation on 7/5/2012 for the following:
1. As east elevation of building exposed furnace flue requires straps to be correctly fastened
2. Beams supporting ceiling of furnace room are exposed (East Tradesmans Entrance) and need to be fully wrapped
3. Leaks at center lighting creating a hazard to commercial space below
4. Subject property is a 1907 building displaning floor sagging walls out of plumbing (may pose a hazard). SFBC Section 102A
A Director’s Hearing Occurred for this property on August 28, 2012.
An Order of Abatement was issued on January 2, 2013.
Permit PA201210041348 was issued on 8/20/2013 for:
MINOR REPAIR TO COMPLY WITH NOV 201234101, 201234001, PID 201297793. CONCRETE PATCH REPLACEMENT AT FURNACE ROOM ROOF. FIRE WRAP ON CEILING OF FURNACE ROOM. REPAIR LIGHTWELL ROOF LEAKS, ATTACH E FLUE STRAPS TO BUILDING. CUT DOWN REAR FENCE TO LESS THAN 6FT. On 2/19/2014 a final inspection was completed. This means the Notice of Violation is no longer outstanding.
Complaint #201277361 was reported on 11/15/2012 and an NOV was issued on 2/21/2014. Since this was just issued, the Department of Building Inspection is waiting for a response from the owner of the building.
At this point, there is not an indication that any legal action be taken against the property owners. If the Department of Building Inspection refers this property to our office for litigation following no response to the second complaint, then our office will look into taking legal action against the property owner. Thank you for reporting these issues to our office. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to contact me either via email or my direct line listed below.
City and County of San Francisco
Office of the City Attorney
1390 Market Street, Sixth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94102
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
UPDATE: Friday April 11th, 2014
I took another very good look at the Order Of Abatement and what it listed as being required for compliance. The Order Of Abatement only stipulated that a permit be obtained and those repairs completed, the Order Of Abatement mentioned nothing about the actual NOV itself being complied with. Even though the Order Of Abatement mandated repairs that required both building and plumbing permits to be obtained, it said nothing about the actual NOV itself. THERE IS STILL ONE MORE THING TO BE DONE ON THAT NOV. The thing that remains to be done is to have a “design professional” examine the structure of the building itself, just look at the NOV below and see for yourself. Walls are leaning and floors are sagging, that still has yet to be examined by a licensed design professional. The Order Of Abatement has been complied with because it failed to mention that one significant part of the NOV, that having to do with the walls leaning into the center of the building along with the floors. So now, we are stuck with a building that is still falling in on itself yet, the Order Of Abatement has been satisfied. To me, this does not make sense at all.
Learning about the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection and the way they operate is not easy, they are somewhat opaque. My assumption was that when a NOV was not complied with and resulted in a Director’s Hearing, that Director’s Hearing would be about the ENTIRE NOV, not just bits and parts of it, as the below Order Of Abatement apparently was.
The Notices of violation which sparked the Order Of Abatement were NOV #s 201234101, 201234001 and PID (Plumbing Inspection Department) violation #201297793. You can click on them to be taken to the SFDBI site itself. That first NOV, 201234101, is the one you see the picture of below. Everything that it requires has been done except having the building’s structure examined by an engineer or other “design professional”. It would be obvious to anyone why that particular part of the NOV has not yet been complied with, were you to visit the All Star Hotel. You wouldn’t be able to walk down the hall without falling over.
The owner of the property has to pay for a “design professional” to do a structural examination of the All Star Hotel in order to comply with NOV 201234101and have it abated. The owner has an architect that he has used in the past to do such things named Patrick Ivan Mora.
Mr. Mora is an interesting fellow, he is prone to posing as a licensed architect when in fact he is not. Mr. Patrick Mora obtained a building permit for the owners of the All Star Hotel in the capacity of a licensed architect when his license had in fact, been suspended. Why had his license been suspended, you ask? For failing to pay his Child Support. I was told this in confidence by an Enforcement employee of the California Architects Board. She was a female. Officially, in the letter you see below, Mr. Patrick Ivan Mora had his Architects license suspended due to failing to obtain the required continuing education requirements his profession demands. The author of the letter you see below was a man. I wonder if there wasn’t some favoritism in not mentioning Mr. Mora’s non payment of Child Support in that letter. There seems to be a plethora of favoritism going around in official circles these days. Perhaps Mr. Peter Merdinger, Enforcement Analyst, felt sorry for unlicensed architect Patrick Mora and his inability to pay for his kids. The female Enforcement Analyst did not, I asked her several times if that was the reason and every time she said “yes”. I then formally reported Mr. Mora to the California Architects Board for acting in the capacity of a licensed professional when he in fact was not. He was sanctioned and warned. I suspect that this is why the final part of NOV 201234101 has not yet been complied with.
The owners of the All Star Hotel are probably trying to find another crooked architect to rubber stamp their falling down SRO hotel. They need to get me out of the way first however. Mr. Patrick Ivan Mora, even though regaining his license, has to now be oh so careful when it comes to the All Star Hotel. After he has proven to be a forger of official documents, I would hold any work he did here as highly suspect, especially any type of structural examination. If Mr. Mora is willing to cheat his kids, forge official documents and sell himself as a licensed professional when he is not, how concerned would he be about our welfare? He has proven himself to be utterly dishonest.
I’ve spoken to previous SFDBI Inspectors who have come to the All Star Hotel before and asked them about the structural integrity. Most would not voice an opinion however one did say that the floors could be leveled and the walls straightened, it would require moving tenants however. In my own research, I have discovered that when a building is given a structural examination, it has three or more different parts. The first part of any structural examination is visual, the other two can either be destructive or non destructive. It is very possible that a building will pass a visual inspection but fail a more invasive or “destructive” examination. A destructive examination is when they tear into the building to examine the supporting structure itself.
The reason for leaning walls and sagging floors is both due to age and movement of the foundation, the latter being more serious. When you see numerous repairs to cracks in the walls at the same locations, that is a sign of foundational movement. When you have walls that lean and floors that dip, that is a sign of foundation problems. When you have a building sitting in a low spot that used to be ocean and is now landfill, you can expect foundation problems. When your building is only one block away from an area that floods every single rainy season, you can expect foundation problems. All of these things are true of the All Star Hotel. The building is over 107 years old and has always been a cut rate hotel. That is why the owners don’t want an honest structural examination performed.
I don’t want to die in the next earthquake either.
Yesterday, I filed a complaint about the All Star Hotel with the Office Of The City Attorney, Code Enforcement Division, located here in San Francisco at 1390 Market Street in the Fox Plaza building on the sixth floor. I spoke with Ms. Melissa Lall, a Paralegal Case Assistant, and gave her the details about my past actions and the current outstanding Order Of Abatement that you see below.
I was told by the Code Enforcement Department of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection (after securing the Order of Abatement based upon the complaint below) that property owners routinely ignore these for years. I was told that the consequences of ignoring an Order of Abatement is a lien placed upon the title by the Department of Building Inspection for all of the costs connected with inspectors going out to the property. There is also a California State Tax Intercept filed with the State Franchise Tax Board to help recoup the costs to the city for inspection services. When the property is sold, the lien will remain with the title if the Order of Abatement has not been complied with, as in the original code violations have not been “abated”, or fixed.
As the costs of fixing a property so that it complies building code can easily exceed the fees levied for inspection services and state tax refunds (if any), owners with dilapidated properties overwhelmingly choose to let repairs go undone.
It is one thing if the owner of a single family home who actually lives in that property themselves, decides to allow it to remain in violation of building codes. That particular property may only be endangering their own lives. But what about their family? What about their children and those of others who come upon the property? What about the garbage man, utility workers and other workers (both public and private) who may have to set foot on the property? Do they deserve to have a staircase collapse underneath them? A deck give way and fall on their heads?
Now think of a multi-story, multi-unit, soft first story, century old wooden apartment complex that rents to over eighty (80+) impoverished tenants as well as three commercial tenants. Do they deserve to live in and rent a property that is not up to city and state building codes?
If the property owner lived in the building he might have somewhat of an excuse, but that still doesn’t make it OK to force his tenants to pay rent for his dilapidated building. Where is the fairness in that? Bring the building up to code and do right by your tenants, who pay you good money.
And what about the property management company, the Tenderloin Housing Clinic, where do they stand in all of this? Shouldn’t they at least be held accountable for collecting rents for a landlord whose building is legally a “public nuisance”? Apparently, the San Francisco Human Services Commission doesn’t think so.
The San Francisco Human Services Commission, under the direction of Mr. Trent Rhorer and City contract’s director Mr. David Curto, contracts non-profit property management LLC Tenderloin Housing Clinic to manage The All Star Hotel, among other SRO hotels in San Francisco. They pay THC grant money (San Francisco tax dollars) for this as part of the Care Not Cash program, voted for by voters and established under former SF Mayor Gavin Newsom way back in 2002.
The San Francisco Human Services Commission is responsible for overseeing that the San Francisco’s housing contract providers are living up to their contracts to provide safe housing for Care Not Cash tenants. They are supposed to make sure that San Franciscan’s tax dollars are well spent and not stolen. I informed the Commission that the Tenderloin Housing Clinic was in violation of their City contract, due to the All Star Hotel having an Order OF Abatement placed upon it. I did this a month before they approved a grant modification (gave more money to THC). Not only did they ignore the Order Of Abatement, they increased the grant modification from $150,000 to $260,000.
I thought the extra money was so that THC and the property owner (who is a mystery person – probably Andy Patel) could bring the All Star Hotel into building code compliance and fix the place. It has been over a year later and nothing has happened, the All Star Hotel still has it’s Order Of Abatement outstanding. Where did the extra $110,000 tax payer dollars go??
I took the minutes of the Commission meeting in which I informed the SFHSC of the All Star Hotel’s Order Of Abatement, as well as the Order itself, to the San Francisco Police Department’s Hall Of Justice and filed a complaint for fraud. Before doing that, I spoke with a Deputy District Attorney upstairs who instructed me to file the complaint. He said he needed that before his office could take action. I think it is fairly obvious what happened, anyone can see the corruption. Why on earth would you reward the city’s largest non-profit housing contractor with more money when you know they aren’t doing what they are being paid to do? Isn’t that defrauding the taxpayer? Who is getting the tax money if it is not being spent the way it is supposed to be? Now, I need to take the complaint you see below, back to the District Attorney’s Office to see if they want to prosecute.
Do you think they will go after one of the City’s sweetheart contractors caught in bed with another City agency, the San Francisco Human Services Commission, together with Mr. Trent Rhorer and Mr. David Curto? Do you as a taxpayer care that your tax dollars are being stolen?
How do you think Mr. Dennis J. Herrera’s office will respond? The San Francisco City Attorney is supposed to protect the City’s interests, it’s citizens and the public welfare. The SF City Attorney’s office is responsible for taking legal action against landlords who refuse to repair their dilapidated properties, especially when so many people are effected. Let’s hope that San Francisco has chosen it’s city leader wisely, leaders who believe that justice applies to everyone whether great or small.