Having been accused of routinely engaging in the under-permitted renovation and expansion of residential properties throughout San Francisco, Ashok Gujral, a local real estate developer, has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle with the City.
In addition to the cash settlement, Gujral has been required “to bring all of his properties in line with land-use laws, including paying an additional $83,000 for proper permits,” and “agreed to a court-sanctioned order with notice, inspection and quarterly reporting requirements” for any properties he or his wife own in San Francisco. But the settlement did not include any admission of liability or forfeiture of any properties.
According to City Attorney Dennis Herrera, “it’s game over for house flippers who thought they could ignore the rules in San Francisco,” noting that “unscrupulous developers trying to make a quick buck by flouting the law increase safety risks, endanger the character of our neighborhoods and cheat honest developers by creating an uneven playing field.”
Gujral purchased seven residential properties in San Francisco between June of 2015 and September of 2016. And shortly after each purchase, Gujral would seek permits for simple projects, such as a kitchen remodel or plumbing work, but subsequently engage in work beyond the scope of the permits, evading Planning oversight, fees and required approvals.
For example, while the Noe Valley home at 1613 Church Street, which Gujral purchased for $1.46 million in March of 2016, was simply permitted for an “interior” remodel, the resultant work included both vertical and horizontal additions, not to mention a new roof deck.
And having hit the market listed for $4.395 million earlier this year, but subsequently reduced to $4.085 million, the now five-bedroom “joy on the roof” home is currently in contract to be sold.