Planning Commission rejects condo application after 100-year-old was evicted

In a stunning, unanimous decision, planners say you can't evict a centenarian, lie about it on your condo application, and get a lucrative permit

The San Francisco City Planning Commission unanimously rejected an attempt by the building owners who evicted 100-year-old Iris Canada to convert their property to condos after every single commissioner said that the application submitted by the owners, and the information provided by the planning staff, were inaccurate.

Peter Owens, who bought 678 Page Street, evicted all the tenants under the Ellis Act, and sold the units as TICs, tells the Planning Commission that he should be able to convert to condos after evicting a 100-year-old woman

The 6-0 “intent to deny” motion sends the application back to planning staff, who now will draft a formal denial motion, which will be heard Feb. 1.

The move is the latest chapter in a terrible story: Canada, who had lived in her unit for more than 60 years, was evicted and died shortly afterward.

But the planning staff accepted a conversion application stating that there had been no evictions at the property in the past five years.

That was, the commissioners noted, demonstrably untrue.

“I believe there is inaccurate information on this application,” Commission President Rich Hillis said. “Whatever the cause was, there was an eviction.”

The law states very clearly that a building that was cleared by the eviction of a senior or disabled person is not eligible for condo conversion.

Peter Owens, who appeared at the hearing, bought the property at 668 Page Street in 2002, for $1.3 million. Within a week, he filed for Ellis Act evictions of the ten tenants. He intent, he told the commissioners, was to “create home ownership opportunities.” What that actually means is that he bought a building intending to kick out the existing renters and turn it into tenancies in common – and make a huge profit in the process.

But people who buy TICs pay higher interest rates on loans and always want to convert to condos. The city has pretty strict rules on those conversions, since condos are exempt from rent control and eliminate rental housing units.

In this case, Canada fought the Ellis Act eviction, and as part of the settlement of that case, Owens agreed to allow her a “life estate” – the right to stay in her apartment as long as she lived.

As Commissioner Christine Johnson noted, “condo conversions should be clean and amicable.” All the residents of the building should be on board – and in this case, she said, “death is not amicable.”

Owens and his lawyer argued that Canada violated the terms of her life estate by moving out of her unit in 2012. That’s the same argument they made in court.

But speaker after speaker made it clear that Canada was in fact living in her unit.

Among the items submitted as evidence: One of the building’s occupants argued against a construction project at an adjacent building by telling the planners that the project would block the light of a senior citizen – Iris Canada – who was living there.

“I know she was living there, I had been visiting her, sitting on the red sofa that she liked,” Tommi Mecca of the Housing Rights Committee noted.

Canada’s niece, Iris Merriouns, pointed out that Canada had every right to travel from time to time, and to visit friends. In her later years, after a stroke, she spent time in the hospital. None of that should violate her right to live in her apartment.

Besides, none of that should matter: If the owners evicted her, that should have been on the conversion application, and it wasn’t.

Deepa Varma, executive director of the SF Tenants Union, said that the sheriff’s office came and changed the locks on her door while Canada was at a senior center. Many of us were there on the street when her belongings were removed.

The residents of the building who pushed for the conversion complained that the tenant activists were “harassing” them. One resident pointed to, and showed the commissioners, a poem that Mecca wrote that was published in 48hills. If that’s harassment, “I’m glad to be a dangerous poet,” Mecca told me.

The case raises larger questions: How did we get to this point? How did the Planning Department staff not realize that there had been an eviction at 668 Page Street? What process does the staff follow to check on the records of building that apply for condo conversions?

It’s not that hard. The anti-eviction mapping project has a tool that lets you check any property in the city for evictions. I typed in 678 Page and instantly found that six units were cleared by an Ellis Act eviction in 2002. A simple google search would have shown that Iris Canada was evicted in 2017.

There’s a larger issue here, which Commissioner Dennis Richards discussed:

“What’s going on in this city kind of makes me sick,” he said. “It’s so selfish and so money-oriented.”

He told the residents of the building, who portrayed themselves as people who just wanted a better deal on their homes, that “when you bought these units, you knew they were Ellis Acted.”

So this is a rare victory, but an important one: The Planning Commission has decided that there are limits to how horrible property owners can be, that clearing a building through the Ellis Act, selling it as TIC, and then evicting a 100-year-old woman is not okay.

  • Alfiejr

    Why isn’t this ruthless profiteering blatant liar going to jail?

    • Geek__Girl

      Good question. I would think he signed the application under penalty of perjury.

      • Porfirio666

        Geek Girl, see all the posts below. This case is a little more nuanced than you suppose.

        • Geek__Girl

          I read all your crap before, didn’t buy it then, don’t buy it now. And I have already seen where you basically lied here.

          • Porfirio666

            “Crap.” So judicial rulings are “crap”? What would you suggest that were replace our current judicial system with?

    • Rosh HoshHosh

      I don’t think jail would be just for lying on the paperwork, but he should be fined and the property should be red flagged. If there is no fine then a message is delivered that there is no consequence for the behavior, and that the ruse would work in most instances.

    • Kraus

      The Planning Commission Hearing yesterday was pure SF political theatre.

      (You’ll notice that they didn’t vote it down. They simply said — with a unanimous “frown” — that Owens will need to come back in February; when there is “more information” from Planning on the case.)

      The larger context of this case is that the Commission’s discretion — along the power of the Mob — is (finally and thankfully) being hemmed in by various pro-housing State Laws that have come down the pike recently — a long-overdue supersession of their authority — that is only going to rightfully increase in order to put an end to some of the dysfunction at the Local level and actually address our chronic housing shortage.

      So with regard to this matter, the Commission, by at least postponing a final decision till February, can flex what muscles it has left, throw some red meat to the hysterical Mob and beat their collective chests in indignation — but is all just “for show.”

      A prediction: Between now and the February Hearing, the Commission will have a quiet/closed-door “informational” pow-wow with the City Attorney and they’ll either:

      1. follow the Law and approve the Conversion, or

      2. be too afraid of the Mob and, thus, punt to the BOS.

      If its the former, it’ll be great to see the Mob’s incredulous reaction.

      If it’s the latter, the BOS — too distracted and fearful due to the power struggle for Mayor — won’t do a thing until after the June election.

      At the end of the day, neither the Commission or the BOS will be able to thwart the conversion of the property.

      If they foolishly attempt to do so, they’ll open themselves up to a lawsuit that they’ll lose and all of us taxpayers will be on the hook for legal fees and damages.

      I’ll look forward to touching base with everyone in the 48 Hill Comments Section after the February hearing.

      It’ll be interesting to see how it plays out.

      • Rosh HoshHosh

        Lock, stock, and barrel, eh? Going all in are you?

        You’d know all about vituperating .. that is for sure.

        • Porfirio666

          I think Kraus was merely stating that the commission stated that Owens will need to come back in February. Nothing more.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            400 words enveloped in quotes, hyphens, exclamation points, parenthesis, question marks… and that’s all you think she meant to convey? Well shit, could’ve fooled me.

          • Porfirio666

            He/she/it might have been more brief. But I think that he/she/it is correct.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            He/she is actually a LGBQT no no. ‘It’ is a pronoun that shouldn’t be used jokingly in reference to people, if you’re honestly looking to up your comment standards.

          • Porfirio666

            Thank you for teaching me the correct usage of the different pronouns.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Thanks for getting my jokes. Hi-five I’m outta here.

          • Kraus

            “them/their” works fine across the board — kinda like “Ms.” instead of assuming either “Mrs.”or “Miss.”
            It would be sincerely appreciated.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Works mediocre, but is confusing. Ms., Mrs., and Miss are always singular. Plus, your motives are ulterior.

          • curiousKulak

            I prefer a gender neutral pronoun like ‘they/them/their’ for general use. While some might find confusion in the seeming plurality, context often simplifies that. Much better than s/h/it.

      • butch embrace

        So approving gov’t applications that include bold faced lies is “following the law” now? Strange.

  • James Windsor

    Owens should be in prson for murder.

    • Porfirio666

      Lock Owens up!

      • Geek__Girl

        I am assuming, since you were, and still are, one of his biggest defenders, this is sarcasm.

        • Porfirio666

          Yes you are correct in this instance.

          • Geek__Girl

            And this is probably the only time you have ever posted the truth on this comment section.

          • Porfirio666

            Not the first time by far. But thank you for your response.

    • curiousKulak

      Along with Tommi and the niece.

  • Is perjury still a crime in this country? He lied, he should face the consequences of deliberately trying to mislead his city government, on top of the crimes he committed by evicting all those pose people and that 100 year old woman in the first place.

    • Geek__Girl

      Maybe he followed Lee’s example, and called in a fake bomb threat to cover his perjury.

      • Porfirio666
        • Kraus

          “Porfirio666”,
          Unfortunately, your entirely wasting your time on the mobocracy (e.g. “Geek Girl”, “Heart”, “James Windsor”, “Do Something Nice” et al ) attempting to demonstrate the actual facts with regard to this situation. However, for others that are more openminded and receptive to the truth, it is greatly appreciated.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Ahh, Porfirio stuck up for you and now you’re repaying the favor. Cute.

            The facts are an eviction took place. The rest of it is irrelevant tripe at this point.

          • Porfirio666

            Rosh seems to think that internet postings are purely to reaffirm the views of posters with whom one agrees. But for many of us, the internet is a place for honest debate without name-calling (ie “crap”).

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Could’ve sworn you sarcastically called me a genius earlier today. I don’t understand the first sentence.

          • Porfirio666

            Brokeass Steward wrote a nice article in the Examiner this week about how we should all be more civilized to each other online in our debates about the issues. You should read it:
            http://www.sfexaminer.com/stop-trying-offended/

          • Geek__Girl

            Honest? Defending the abuse, coercion, and attempted exploitation of an elderly person is not remotely honest. It is support of a felony.

          • Do Something Nice

            I never discussed the actual facts of ANYTHING other than the application for condo conversion contained a lie that nobody was evicted. Regardless of whatever reason, Canada was evicted.

            I guess your version of “openmindedness” includes distorting what others have said to make your point.

            Because what you wrote about me is not the truth.

          • Geek__Girl

            No one with a brain is happy with elder abuse and exploitation, which based on what Owens wrote, appears to be the situation. She either had a right to not sign, and basically to ignore his, uh, demands that she do so, or her signature was worthless.

          • Watson Ladd

            If he could terminate the life estate, he could terminate the life estate. He was willing not to do so in exchange for her agreeing to upgrade the unit. It’s called negotation

          • Geek__Girl

            No, it is called coercion. She either had a right to not sign, or her signature was worthless. He lied, and got his way. He should be in prison for elder abuse and exploitation.

          • Watson Ladd

            Is it coercion if I decide not to renew an agreement because we don’t reach mutually acceptable terms?

          • Geek__Girl

            It was a LIFETIME tenancy. How do you remotely suggest one would renew a lifelong tenancy? You might try actually thinking before posting. Otherwise, while mildly amusing, your comment is appallingly ignorant.

          • Watson Ladd

            Iris had a lifetime tenancy, which the landlord brought suit to end after she no longer lived there. What impact to her rights would signing the papers have had? http://sfbayview.com/2017/02/the-truth-about-the-eviction-of-iris-canada/

          • Geek__Girl

            No, Iris had a lifelong tenancy which the landlord sought to illegally terminate by falsely claiming she no longer lived there when she took an extended trip with a terminally ill family member, and also during periods when she was under medical care. He did that because he was anxious to get papers signed, and when he could not get her attention, he resorted to illegal efforts to coerce her into signing. He specifically made the offer that he would not evict if she just signed. That is coercion. And that is illegal, especially if the victim is an elderly person.

          • Watson Ladd

            And that’s why a neutral magistrate hearing the claims of both sides concluded she didn’t live there anymore. You still haven’t answered what she would lose by signing

          • Geek__Girl

            I wouldn’t call him neutral, and I don’t think he really heard all the facts. Judges are rarely, if ever, truly neutral. And what she would, or would not, lose by signing is moot. But thanks for showing that you are ignoring the facts. It was HER choice to sign. Whatever reason she had for signing, or not signing, was her business. Owens was greedy, and wanted money. He would do whatever it took to get that money, including lying, and hastening the death of an elderly woman. He was scum, and so are you.

          • Heart

            Hey Sonja. How’s the newborn?

          • Porfirio666

            Heart. You’re Chris Daly, right?

        • Geek__Girl

          Let’s see…. They needed her signature to make a ton of money. Now, I would assume that she was free to sign, or not sign. Otherwise, it would be worthless. If I force you to sign something, it is basically fraud. Not, apparently that these sleaze balls gave a damn. Canada exercised her inherent right to not respond. So, they hired a lawyer, and evicted her, because she would not comply with their demands. Which goes back to the question, if her signature was NEEDED, it would have to be valid. And if she was not free to give it, or withhold it, by her choice, that was her right. And since they took steps to punish her for not signing, the would be coercion, which, I believe in a case like this, could lead to felony charges. Elder abuse and exploitation is very much frowned upon. Of course, George Gascon is not going to investigate such a thing, as it would not be a politically wise move. Ron Conway would not approve, and would decide to target Gascon.

          • curiousKulak

            You ignore the court evidence that she was absent from the unit from 2012 to 2014 in apparent violation of her lease. And she had previously agreed to sign. So, nothing like not living up to your commitments.

            If she were AirBnB-ing her flat, she’s be SOL with the City after a 3 months absence. But, hey, 98 yo’s are so-o hard charging and adventurous; criss-crossing the country for months or years.

            The “ton of money” was to be made by the other 4 TiC owners. Recently read that TICs are worth 20% less than condos. Owens bought for ~$200k per unit; they’re probably worth, as TICs, 5X that now. So Owen would make maybe $200k on her unit via conversion (he’s already made his “ton”), or about what he spent for legal fees – in an effort to satisfy the other partners. And while their props would have added value, the impetus seemed to be to lower their finance costs (5% to 3.8%?), along with the independence of a separate parcel.

          • Geek__Girl

            Being absent does not violate a lease. What an absurd concept. How long does one have to be absent? A few hours while shopping? Well, no, that wouldn’t make sense. Overnight, while visiting with family? A week while on vacation? A couple of weeks while recovering from surgery (not that the days, most are out of the hospital in a day or so after even the most serious surgery). Would she have broken her lease if she had a broken hip, and had to spend a month or so in a rehabilitation facility? Was she supposed to be a prisoner in her own home, having to account for ANY absence? Do you even know how absurd all of this sounds? She did not give up her tenancy. Being physical present for some arbitrary time is a lame excuse used by both the scumbag landlord, and the judge.

          • curiousKulak

            With our limited view of the facts and evidence, I’m glad you feel confident enuf to overrule the judge and judgment that wasn’t appealed.

          • Geek__Girl

            ROTFL! What an utterly silly remark.

        • heavyheavysyrup

          He was unable to reach a 100 year old via texts and emails…? SHOCKING!

          • Porfirio666

            Um, Heavysoup? The great-grand-niece has access.

  • Do Something Nice

    So when are the Developer’s Personal Permit Expediters Planning Department staff who approved this going to get fired?

    Do they know that Ed Lee is dead and, just maybe, the ‘anything goes’ attitude that has made life a shitstorm of traffic and angst for most San Franciscans may be a thing of the past?

    • Geek__Girl

      Not until we get a mayor that is not beholden to Ron Conway.

  • Porfirio666

    Canada was not a “senior city”, she was a “senior citizen.”

    Her great-grand-niece, Iris Merriouns (an assistant to Oakland councilman Ed Reid who was once reprimanded for cancelling her friends’ parking tickets) tried to get her hands on the property. The new property owners had given Canada the right to stay in her home for life for $700 a month as long as she signed a document stating that she would not seek ownership of the unit. But the great-grand-niece had different ideas. Hence the eviction notice at that time.

    “Among the items submitted as evidence: One of the building’s occupants argued against a construction project at an adjacent building by telling the planners that the project would block the light of a senior cities – Iris Canada – who was living there.”

    • Do Something Nice

      REGARDLESS of which story about Canada is true, SHE WAS EVICTED. You can’t lie about stuff like that and expect to get away with it.

      • Porfirio666

        She would never have been evicted if the great-grand-nice had not got involved.

        • Do Something Nice

          Yes, that relative forced the landlord to evict Canada. Or something.

          • Porfirio666

            Obviously you haven’t been following this case over the past four years.

          • Geek__Girl

            I have, and it appears you are, at best, mistaken, and at worst are lying.

          • Porfirio666

            Have a look at my links, friend.

          • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

            You’re really annoying. And the fact that you put 666 on your screen name like a 12 year old shows you’re just a contrarian with no real anything to offer anybody; online or irl.

          • Porfirio666

            I. Bot.Person. you RuMa. Did you check the two links, with the emails between the lawyers for the two parties, or the article about the landlord from the San Mateo newspaper? Fake news innit? I’m offering evidence, not blather. Think about it.

        • Geek__Girl

          That is clearly not true.

          • Porfirio666

            Look. Links. Friend.

          • Geek__Girl

            Yawn…. You posted all of this the last time. I am not impressed.

          • Porfirio666

            A court of law ruled in favour of the landlord. Do you think our judicial system in California is invalid?

          • Geek__Girl

            In this case, it was. The judge either made a ruling knowing it was wrong, or he failed to do proper diligence. The landlord lied.

          • Porfirio666

            I see. Judge failed. So judge should be removed from bench, eh?

          • Geek__Girl

            Funny, I said nothing about the judge being removed… So, I guess you must have no real response, so you go for a straw man argument. Oh well….

          • Porfirio666

            Funny. Here’s what you wrote: ‘The judge either made a ruling knowing it was wrong, or he failed to do proper diligence.” You think the judge is incompetent and should not be sitting on the bench. Just quoting your own words.

          • Geek__Girl

            Yes, that is what I wrote. That is ALL that I wrote. You have tried, twice, to put words in my mouth. That is the act of a desperate man. I think the judge made a ruling that was wrong. That, oh sadly ignorant one, is why we have appellate courts. Of course, in this case, the person who could have appealed is dead, so not much can be done. What you would, no doubt, call a “win win.” Now, a very big hint. Don’t try to claim what I seem to be saying. You are probably going to be wrong. Or do you claim that a) judges NEVER make mistakes, b) judges NEVER allow bias to influence their decisions, c) judges NEVER make mistakes, d) judges are NEVER influenced by false information, or e) ALL of the above? I’ll even be nice and say, you can offer another explanation if you wish.

          • Porfirio666

            Judge sadly ignorant. Got it. Judges tend to be ignorant about judicial matters. Internet chatroom scribblers should be making the final legal rulings. We know better than the judges do.

    • sfsquirrel

      Wow, You really have no shame and cannot admit when you are wrong. And I see you upvoted your own comment as usual.

      • Rosh HoshHosh

        He and Playland were the most vocal critics on 48hills. Somehow they think actions by the niece parlay into a just eviction.

        • Porfirio666

          Rosh knows. Because she/He/It’s a genius in analyzing writing styles. I’m just a bot. But have a look at this for some history on this case:

          https://vtdigger.org/2016/04/21/burlington-official-resolves-bruising-california-eviction-battle/

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Plus you had the same user name.

            Oh shoot! Your comment fell to the bottom of the page even though you upvoted yourself. Try upvoting yourself again genius .. maybe it’ll help something.

          • Porfirio666

            Thanks Rosh! [love]: Once again, please see this article for some history on this case:
            https://vtdigger.org/2016/04/21/burlington-official-resolves-bruising-california-eviction-battle/

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            I have read your link and I am familiar with the history. Here’s my take:

            Iris Canada did not sign the condo conversion papers to her home of 60 years. The building owners then pursued and secured an eviction on the grounds that she was not living there. A sheriff came to the home with eviction papers, removed the items, and changed the locks.

            Iris Canada accepts her fate of eviction and death and passes a month later.

            A year later Peter Owens files for a condo conversion and omits the eviction on the paperwork. Tommi Mecca and Tim Redmond expose the illegalities of the conversion. The board unanimously denies the conversion permit.

            The next day you and Playland hit the comments with the same old tripe.

            What is, Porfirio, what is.

          • Porfirio666

            I see your point. Yes, she was evicted. But Owens had agreed to let her stay in the condo for life. And she wasn’t there for a long time. So it isn’t as if he cold-bloodedly evicted her. The link with Owens’ emails to the great-grand-niece show this, in my view.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            Those e-mails were slimy and harassing. Mecca should have been receiving those as he was Iris’s legal advocate. It’s beyond me how you can look at those and think they’re okay.

            My landlord has come at me with similar bombardment. He and I went before a judge (arbitration meeting) and I insisted he contact me via U.S. Postal service. No more fucking phone calls, texts, or emails. True story.

          • Porfirio666

            My mother had an unwritten agreement with a landlord that let her live in her apartment for life. She lived there. And she never left. Owens convinced a judge that Iris was not living there. The judge sided with him, the landlord, I think we have to abide by the judges ruling if we have any faith in our judicial system. The great-grand-niece was trying to get her hands on the property, in my view.

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            The judges ruling was upheld and the eviction was served. The judges ruling being upheld is why Owens was required to notify the planning commission and list it on his application. The commissions decision is not the same issue as was the judge hearing the eviction.

            Your last sentence is garbage innuendo and you just can’t help but stray from the facts.

          • Porfirio666

            “Innuendo.” I said she was trying to get her hands on the property, “in my view.”
            “In my view,” prefaced or followed by a statement, merely means that you are expressing an opinion. It does not imply that you are certain that your views are correct. “Garbage” does not apply here. But please do read Brokeass Stuart’s article before you launch into more vitriol once more:
            http://www.sfexaminer.com/stop-trying-offended/

          • Rosh HoshHosh

            I read it. Yes, these are good practices. Reflective speaking and listening. When I’m at my best I employ these techniques. It is important to employ them whether others are or not as it reduces dogma.

            My mother taught me reflective speaking and my father always said, “don’t worry about what your friends think of you, worry about what you think of your friends.”

            I’m sorry for the loss of your Mother. It is great she got to live out her life at home. Iris was not so lucky.

          • Porfirio666

            My mother had -grand-nieces like Iris. But they did not mettle in her life as far as I know.

        • playland

          No, I don’t think that she should have been evicted from an apartment where she lived. But I don’t believe that she was living there.

          Here’s why:

          Deepa Varma, executive director of the SF Tenants Union, said that the
          sheriff’s office came and changed the locks on her door while Canada was at a senior center.

          What is the darn name of the senior center? There was a TRIAL. The judge believed that she didn’t live there. Why are we keeping the name of this senior center a secret? It does exist, right? Naming it would have destroyed the assertion that she wasn’t living there. Yet, no one seems to know the name of this senior center. Even legendary investigative journalist Tim Redmond never took a few hours to find and speak to staff from this senior center.

          Now go ahead with your emotional “A 100 year old woman was thrown out onto the cold street” story.

          • Porfirio666

            Yup. It wouldn’t have been hard to pinpoint the senior center. At that time, Merriouns the great-grandniece often claimed that the centenarian was away visiting relatives in the south on short trips and returns. That’s a lot of traveling for a centenarian. I think Merriouns is to blame for this entire debacle.

          • Geek__Girl

            It was an extended trip with a dying relative. Good grief, you are a nasty person. I guess you think that someone that old does not have a right to travel if able.

          • Porfirio666

            The landlord was very civil, in my view. Check the links I provided below.

          • Geek__Girl

            Wow! He very civilly tried to bully and coerce an elderly woman. I guess that makes it all right. I did. He is scum.

          • Porfirio666

            Look at Owens’ email correspondents. She was away from home for months on end.

          • Geek__Girl

            Let me explain this to you.

            She was on an extended trip with a terminally ill relative. That is, in spite of your ignorant bigotry, her right. Being on such a trip does not mean she has abandoned her residence. There were also some periods when, as people her age are prone to do, she required medical treatment. That does not mean she has abandoned her residence. She had rights, which Owens, with your endorsement, violated. He lied. He twisted facts, and he tried to coerce her into signing papers. She had no obligation to sign them, otherwise they were worthless. When she would not do what he wanted, he sought to force her. When she would not be forced, he move to punish her. That is a felony. At least if the person doing it is not wealthy, apparently.

          • Geek__Girl

            Wow, you are a real jerk. So, going to a senior center means someone is not living in their apartment. There are a number of these, where seniors, and people who have disabilities who are not seniors, can go and have meals, sit and talk with friends, play games, and otherwise socialize. Curry Senior Center, and Canon Kipp, are two I am aware of, as well as one in the Marine History Museum building at Aquatic Park. There are a lot more. She was living there after she returned from an extended road trip with a dying relative. You are creating a conspiracy where none exists. A classic straw man argument.

          • Porfirio666

            No one could locate any records of her living at a senior center, which would have been instrumental to the case. This is why Playland broached this subject.

          • playland

            Yes. Rational thought and @Geek__Girl:disqus don’t frequently line up. Here is an illustration that most likely won’t help:

            Judge: I don’t think that your client, Ms. Canada, was living in the apartment.

            Lawyer: Well, your honor, here is a statement from the nearby Acme Senior Center saying that they picked her up and dropped her off at the apartment on a regular basis.

            Judge: Case dismissed.

            Now what was so hard about that?

          • Geek__Girl

            ROTFL! Well, you just made Playland look like a fool. He attacked me saying that is NOT what he said. You now claim that her going to a senior center meant she was not living in her home. Wow, you are REALLY, REALLY, REALLY hoist by your own petard.

            Senior Centers are places were seniors, and and sometimes younger people with debilitating conditions, go to have a meal, talk, maybe play games, like cards or such, and socialize. They are not residences. They are social centers. No one looked for such a record, as no one was as stupid as you and Playland.

          • Porfirio666

            Um, Geek Girl? The great-grand-niece claimed that she was living at a senior center for a long stretch. That’s what she testified in court.

          • Geek__Girl

            You are simply full of crap. You and play land need to get your stories straight. Look at the comment right below yours. You are contradicting each other as you trip over each other’s lies.

          • Porfirio666

            “Full of crap.” You do love your scatological terms, don’t you?

          • Geek__Girl

            Well, that’s it. I’m calling it. Time of death of Porfirio666’s last shred of dignity, 5:53 pm, January 13, 2018. Cause of death, he was hoist by his own petard.

            People don’t “live” at senior centers. They are places people go during the day to have meals, play games, talk, and such. They are not residences. I have pointed this out repeatedly, and you keep going back to the same incredibly ignorant arguments. They are all over the City, particularly in areas with a number of elderly. I honestly think you know you are lying, but just won’t give up. No one could be this stupid.

          • curiousKulak

            I hope to go on an extended road trip … when I’m 98.

          • Porfirio666

            Me too. But it can be difficult to travel at that age. Most centenarians spend almost all of their time at home.

          • Geek__Girl

            So, elderly people are not allowed to travel, even if able? Why don’t you go now. Just don’t come back.

          • playland

            Wow, you are a real jerk. So, going to a senior center means someone is not living in their apartment.

            Where did you get this idea? It isn’t even close to what I said. Please try again when you are somewhat more coherent. I can wait. Have you tried meditation?.

          • Geek__Girl

            Then why did you make such a big deal out of what Senior Center she was at? That makes as much sense as throwing a fit if someone cannot specific what grocery store someone was at if that is where they were when they changed the locks. It is not a relevant point.

          • Zhoosh

            It doesn’t make a difference which senior center she was at. But if someone knew the name of the center that she went to they could have proof that she was living in the apartment. Which would have prevented the eviction.

            Just saying that she spent her days at an unnamed, unspecified senior center might be why the judge didn’t believe her side.

          • Geek__Girl

            She did not spend her days at the senior center, and there was no question that she was living in her apartment. Going on a trip, even a relatively long one, does not mean someone has moved out. Owens lied. By the time the senior center even came up, the judge had made his decision. This is all attempts to avoid real issues. It looks like Owens has won the battle, but lost the war. He has no shame, and he should serve as a warning to future scum.

          • Porfirio666

            The great-grand-niece said she was staying at a rest home for a long stretch.

          • curiousKulak

            Hell, man, she was cruzin’ – Route 66, daddy-O. Thats what I hope to do … when I’m 98.

          • Porfirio666

            “Jerk” “strawman” “conspiracy” We disagree Geek. There is no need for name-calling here.

          • zutsa

            As awful as Iris’ story is, these facts can’t be ignored in favor of mob mentality. The judge ruled she didn’t live there. Owens had no reason to believe she was living there, a violation of the agreement they made. The niece being portrayed as the victim is misleading. The politicization and sensationalism around this story is astounding. Her being made to be some anti-gentrification martyr, used to further people’s political beliefs and/or hatred for the other is disgusting.

            I think Owens should have just let her keep the unit, whether she lived there or not, and the stress they put on her was inhumane even if Owens was 100% in the right from a legal perspective. But the lynch mob here is ridiculous.

          • Porfirio666

            Nice summary. I think the owner was worried that the great-grand-nice had her eye on the property. I could be wrong.

          • Geek__Girl

            rThere are two possibilities. She did have her eye on it, and would have gotten if the law was on her side, and not if it wasn’t. In which case, he was trying to circumvent the law, and is a criminal. Or she didn’t, in which case, well, he is an idiot, and still a criminal.

          • butch embrace

            I’m sorry but if these speculators are willing to put this much stress on a 100 y/o woman, and then turn around and lie about it, all to turn a profit, they’re deserving of whatever public scrutiny they get.

          • zutsa

            Can’t say I disagree with you. They’re either naive to think that the public wouldn’t put them through the ringer or their judgement was clouded by dollar signs. Both of which are bad.

            That said, the niece also had dollar signs in her eyes and think she should get some scrutiny too for trying to exploit the situation. I think the ultimate takeaway here is that the market is just too cutthroat for both sides: the owners want to maximize their return on their investment but the tenant and niece were also struggling to keep their roots here. No one wins.

        • Geek__Girl

          ROTFL! Porfirio666 upvoted your comment. Apparently he is proud of his actions.

          • Porfirio666

            I enjoy debate, and I respect Rosh’s views even though I disagree with them. I never resort to name-calling or laughing derisively about others’ views.

          • Geek__Girl

            No, you enjoy lying, defending hateful, greedy scum, and attacking the truth.

          • Porfirio666

            Look at Owens’ correspondence. You will see why the judge ruled in his favor.

      • Porfirio666

        Of course I do. I’m a Russian bot. For some history on this case and Merriouns trickery, see link below.

        • Geek__Girl

          ROTFL! Perhaps you are.

          • Porfirio666

            See.Links. They clearly show why the judge ruled for Owens and against the great-grand-niece. [Yes. I Russian bot. I heart vodka].

          • curiousKulak

            Forget it – they don’t want to listen, they’d rather shout in self-righteous glee.

          • Porfirio666

            I think the links I provided clearly show why the judge ruled in the landlords favour. I am not delighted at all by the events in this case.

          • Do Something Nice

            Again, the facts of the eviction case is not the issue here. The landlord lied about the eviction on his condo conversion application and the Planning Department went along with it. And they both got caught.

          • Porfirio666

            Yes, she was evicted. After the judge ruled that she had not been living there for some time. In yearterday’s case, the commission was right to stall the conversion. But I believe the TIC owners will achieve their goals in the end. In any case, the article painting the landlord as evil and the great-grand-nice as a crime victim are misleading, in my view.

          • curiousKulak

            No he didn’t. The eviction was not for “purposes of conversation” – it was because she breached her lease – and that is not a category covered under that law!

      • Geek__Girl

        That is such a lame thing to do here. One can get away with it on SFGate, but here you can see who upvoted.

        • Porfirio666

          Look at the links I have provided here. You will see why the judge ruled in the landlord’s favour.

          • Geek__Girl

            It is still a lame thing to do.

          • Porfirio666

            Again, look at the links. That’s all I ask.

          • Geek__Girl

            I did, pure BS. End of story.

          • Porfirio666

            “BS” “Idiot” “Bot” Please have a look at Brokass Stuart’s article yesterday about how we should be more civil to each other on the internet:

            http://www.sfexaminer.com/stop-trying-offended/

          • Geek__Girl

            Nope, not even close.

    • Geek__Girl

      IF as you claim, and it sounds, at best, a bit wrong, her niece tried to do that, punishing Canada was wrong. As I recall, the sleaze bag evicted her because he claimed she had abandoned the property, and was not continuing to live there, because she was on an extended trip with a dying family member. He is scum, and I cannot believe you are defending him, and his greed.

      • Porfirio666

        Look at the transcript of Owen’s correspondence with the great-grand-niece. This too:
        https://vtdigger.org/2016/04/21/burlington-official-resolves-bruising-california-eviction-battle/
        You can see why the judge ruled in the property owner’s favour.

        • James Windsor

          porfirio, go away. No one is interested in your defense of the right to murder a 100 year old woman.

          • Porfirio666

            Did you look at the links? They clearly show why judge ruled in favor of the landlord.

        • Geek__Girl

          What transcript? It is a one-sided piece trying to make the scum-bag look good. The basic take-away from that article is that he claims he caved in to the demands of tenants. Nice try, but no cigar.

          • Porfirio666

            In my view, it clearly lays out a history of attempts by the landlord to communicate with Iris and the great-grand-niece.

          • Geek__Girl

            Yes, so he could try to coerce and threaten her, in order to force her to sign a paper that it was her right to not sign.

          • Porfirio666

            Darling, read the transcript already.

  • sfsquirrel

    This is a bittersweet victory, as Iris Canada is not alive to see it. I hope it gives the family some peace. Our city has a long way to go to cure this sickness of greed and speculation.

  • Do Something Nice

    I’m going to repeat this until society recognizes that what we call ‘gentrification’ is really the strong preying upon the weak for profit. It is anti-social behavior and should be illegal. Certainly, those profiting from gentrification should be shunned and scorned. They are the fucking carpetbaggers of our time.

    “Gentrification is a process that hides the apparatus of domination from the dominate
    themselves. “

    “That ‘those people’ lost their home and died is pretended away, and reality is replaced by with a false story in which the gentrifriers have no structure to impose their privilege. They just naturally and neutrally earned and deserved it.

    And in fact the privilege does not even exist. And in fact, if you identify the privilege you are “politically correct” or oppressing them with “reverse racism” or other nonexistent excuses that the powerful invoke to feel weak in order to avoid accountability. “ –Sarah Schulman

    • Geek__Girl

      Well put.

  • I like the naming and shaming in this article. If I see Owens on the street, I intend to spit on him.

    • Porfirio666

      Yeaaaah, lock Owens up! Lynching party needed! Here’s the transcript of Owens’ email correspondence. He was civil. Merriouins was not:
      https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B4mskiqxdJ4RQ1BmWVJFbU5WbXM/view

      • James Windsor

        porfirio, get lost.

        • Porfirio666

          See.The.Links.

      • Geek__Girl

        Are you on Owen’s payroll? He committed perjury in an attempt to cash in on killing Canada. The scumbag was so greedy, he could be patient and wait for her to die, which at 100, would not have been that long a wait. He is a monster, and hopefully will eventually face justice in this life, and maybe, possibly, realize what he did and repent. Otherwise, he is going to have a very unpleasant eternity.

        • Porfirio666

          He did not commit perjury. He provided email evidence to the judge and won the case. No, I am not on Owen’s payroll.

          • His filing claimed there had been no evictions.

          • curiousKulak

            I believe his filing is meant to claim “no evicitons for the purpose of converting”, per the Subdivision Code. He did evict for Breach of Lease. But now I’m wondering if she was evicted as a co-owner and not a tenant.

    • Kyle Huey

      Intentionally spitting on someone is criminal assault so this may not be the wisest course of action.

      • Geek__Girl

        It would be worth it.

        • SF Sunset Guy

          Your true colors shining through. again.

          • Geek__Girl

            Spitting on him would do no actual harm. It is not like I suggested he be murdered (as so many have with Zarate, including, if I am not mistaken, you). Yes, it would be a criminal act, but sometimes such acts are justified.

          • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

            hah! boom!

          • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

            If someone wants to effing spit on someone let them. If you’re not paying their legal bills, posting their bail or answering for them at the gates of heaven or hell mind your own uppity damn business.

          • SF Sunset Guy

            Thanks for chiming in-minding your own business I see?

          • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

            You’re welcome.

          • Porfirio666

            Heaven vs. Hell. Ya can’t argue with that-; (I’ve never spit on anyone.)

      • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

        ZOMG! Shooketh! Thanks for the legal advice Kyle!

    • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

      same.

  • Nick Knave

    Gosh, I’m SO glad we finally decided what the frigging lowest point we could get to in this town is, huh? So, you think, maybe now that “Bitch of Shrimpboy” is finally dead (and hopefully with a stake through his raisin heart) we could try getting back ABOVE the absolute bare minimum level of humanity?

  • curiousKulak

    Many have commented that the converter “lied’ on the application. However, the law sez “or (if) evictions have occurred for the purpose of preparing the building for conversion”. She was not evicted for ‘conversion’ – she was evicted for breaking her lease. I can’t believe the law would allow for tenants to willy nilly not pay rent, or threaten their neighbors or destroy the place btw the filing for a permit and the actual approval.

    No, I’ll take that back – in this town, it seems like any tenant action is justifiable and permitted.

    And we are living in an age where facts don’t matter. I’ll rest my case.

    • Kraus

      The Planning Commission Hearing yesterday was pure SF political theatre.
      (You’ll notice that they didn’t vote it down — they simply said (with a unanimous “frown”) that Owens will need to come back in February — when there is “more information” from Planning on the case.)

      The larger context of this case is that the Commission’s discretion — along the power of the mob — is (finally and thankfully) being hemmed in by various pro-housing State Laws that have come down the pike recently — a supersession of their authority that is only going to rightfully increase in order to address the chronic housing shortage.

      So with regard to this matter, the Commission, by at least kicking a final decision to February, can flex what muscles it has left, throw some red meat to the hysterical mob and thus everyone can beat their collective chests in indignation — but is all just “for show.”

      A prediction: Between now and the next Hearing, the Commission have a closed-door “informational” pow-wow with the City Attorney and they’ll either:

      1. follow the Law and approve the Conversion, or
      2. be too afraid of the mob to do so and, thus, kick it to the BOS.

      (If it’s the latter, the BOS won’t do a thing until after the June election.)

      At the end of the day, neither the Commission or the BOS will be able to thwart the conversion of the property.

      • Rosh HoshHosh

        Good to know where you stand. See you in February.

      • Rosh HoshHosh

        Couldn’t back that comment up so you deleted it after I responded. Classy.

    • Geek__Girl

      Of course it was done for “the purpose of preparing a building for conversion.” Based on what your cohort has posted, she was evicted in an effort to coerce her into signing a paper. The whole bit about her “breaking her lease” was cooked up to hide that she was abused, coerced, and exploited financially.

      • curiousKulak

        Timeline, pls.

  • bkochandco

    Good!

  • butch embrace

    Dishonest from the outset. But I didn’t realize they were this stupid.

    Her eviction was major news for many months, they think the city that let them evict her would then, um, forget they evicted her?

  • RuMADorRuREALLYmad

    I bet this jerk considers himself radical and progressive. He looks like one of those hippies who sold out love for the almighty dollar. I will remember your face and your overpriced frames and hopefully get the opportunity to say you are a greedy capitalist POS irl.

  • sebra leaves

    If lying on an application is not grounds to deny, I don’t know what is.