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The Berkeley Wire: 05.03.12

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  • bgal4

    Is this a case of selective enforcement as the owner claims?

    story link above

    Declared a “Public Nuisance” in 2001

    Citing numerous code violations, Berkeley housing officials declared the structures a “public
    nuisance” in 2001 and then seized the parcel in 2009, evicting Ghosh
    and his tenants. Ghosh was homeless for some months, living on friends’
    sofas until he was able to purchase his current home, which also faces
    imminent seizure by the city.

    Ghosh believes he has been unfairly
    treated by the city of Berkeley in his prolonged battle to keep his
    homes. “I’ve been defrauded all the way,” he asserted, noting that he
    paid $160,000 in 2011 to a court-ordered receiver to bring the
    structures in compliance with the city’s housing codes.

    “They made me do all the groundwork; I’ve had to sell so much property in
    Bangladesh to do that, and still I have lost my lifetime investment,” he
    said, accusing Berkeley housing officials of selectively enforcing code
    violations against him.

  • The Sharkey

    I don’t think so.

    I used to live a few blocks South of that property, and it was definitely in the nightmare condition the City describes. It really was a blight on the corner, and the “repairs” done to the building were laughable.

    Both structures are almost tear-downs at this point. A real shame.

  • Southie

    It’s still as ugly as sin. Somehow I doubt that Prof. Townes would support such a structure in his ‘hood up in the hills!

  • bgal4

    But what about the properties the city does not take action on. I can think a several sitting in the same blighted horrific state for much longer than 12 years.

    I walk by this property regularly, it is a mess not doubt, I am more interested in the manner the city identifies and prioritizes problem properties.

    I mean really, look how quickly they determined this property was a public nuisance and than seal the deal in court, how about the recent finding of public nuisance on 9th St, same 30 years of no action by the city that occurred on Oregon St.

    What’s up with that?

    The Toler property blighted,empty regularly covered with graffiti, fence with chain link going on 30 years, Sacramento St, what’s up with that. The city claims there is nothing they can do. why?

    Seems selective enforcement is not an unfair assertion.

  • The Sharkey

    I’m not familiar with the Toler property… Is it empty?

    The big problem with the property on Dwight was that, in addition to the boarded-up storefront on Dwight and a ton of not-up-to-code work, the big pink/tan part of it on McGee appeared to be an apartment building in which rooms were being rented out.

    I suspect the reason the City was able to proceed against him and has been unable to proceed against Sarachan, for instance, is because Ghosh did illegal work on his buildings, whereas Sarachan has done absolutely nothing.