Purchased as a two-unit building for $831,500 in October of 2011, permits to remodel the two one-bedroom, one-bath units at 1566 19th Street and 395 Arkansas, on the north slope of Potrero Hill, were subsequently requested and secured in early 2012, followed by a slew of complaints.

In addition to having been tagged for work beyond the scope of the approved permits, including alterations to the corner building’s façade, an unapproved conversion of the duplex into a single-family home was reported in 2013. And while inspected by a Department of Building Inspection (DBI) inspector in early 2014, the conversion case was closed, without any enforcement action, in 2019.

Early last month, 1566 19th Street returned to the market listed as a two-bedroom, two-bath, two-level home for $1.995 million, with “showings by appointment only,” a bonus entrance at 395 Arkansas Street, and a note that the home was “legally a 2 unit building.” And three days later the previously reported illegal conversion was reported anew.

This time around, a site visit “revealed” that two-unit building was, in fact, “converted to single family home,” after which a permit to restore the demising walls that had separated the upper and lower units and reinstall appliances in the lower level kitchen, which had been converted into the home’s laundry room, was requested on November 18, issued OTC on November 22 and marked as “completed” by DBI on December 6.

At the same time, an enforcement action by Planning was just triggered by the DBI inspection, a day after a sale of the two-bedroom, two-level home with a laundry room was marked as pending on the MLS.

9 thoughts on “On the Market and Outed Anew, Another DUM on the Down-Low”
  1. I like the bay window treatment.

    It should be easier to add and remove units under SF planning. Our current system is the very definition of conservatism.

  2. The feature window is oversized & at an awkward angle. Additionally the white paint, wood trim and yellow doors are too much. It’s a hot mess. If you’re not going to follow the rules at least be low key about it.

  3. Will the DBI actually do anything about this? And who will be responsible? I assume the new owners, but they could possibly sue the old ones if there was misrepresentation (but if DBI closed it .. that could make it de facto legal at the time?).

    Anyway, this sh*t is infuriating. Lots of people try to play by the rules and navigate the expensive and byzantine development process, to at least work within the imperfect system we have. And while it’s bloated and troubling, it is also the only real mechanism to TRY to address the common good.. but then these ass-clowns just say hey the rules don’t apply to us, ima do whatever I like, including illegally removing housing stock in a city with a housing crisis .. and years later there are still not yet any consequences. SIGH.

  4. Did the seller have to disclose that the house almost fell into a railway tunnel when it collapsed in 1962? I came across this photo just now and remembered this post.

    Also the house is also visible in this amazing color footage. It’s shocking the amount of damage done around the neighborhood- I wonder how many potrero hill folks know it even happened?

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