By Tim Redmond
I saw Steve Williams, a longtime land-use lawyer, at the Coalition for San Francisco Neighborhoods dinner Tuesday night, shortly after the news broke about the Twin Peaks building collapsing, and he was probably the only one in the city who wasn’t surprised. “I hate to be the one who said ‘I told you so,’” he said.
Yep: For several years now, Williams has been warning that the Crown Terrace project, owned by developer Mel Murphy, a friend of the mayor, was unsafe and had been approved improperly. And a review of the history of this disaster suggests that there were more than a few irregularities in the process.
In fact, in a letter he sent to the City Attorney’s Office, which is investigating the collapse, Williams wrote:
“It’s no wonder the structure collapsed, nearly every part of this job was done on the ‘cheap’ and without following the mandatory rules which apply to all other projects—on a very dangerous lot with a nearly 40% slope. These rules and regulations are in place for the public’s safety and were ignored by DBI and Planning all along the process that led to the approval of the project.”
In his letter to city attorney investigators, and in documents filed with the Board of Appeals, Williams outlines the bizarre twists and turns of this development and what could certainly be argued was favorable treatment handed to a political ally of the mayor by city planners. (more, including two amazing pictures, after the jump)