The owner of two large, derelict homes near Sutro Heights Park in the Outer Richmond district was officially instructed Monday to clean up his act, although he appears to have both the financial means and an understanding of the system to keep his properties as is indefinitely.
The homes at 641 and 645 48th Ave. — both of which belong to Wing King, a doctor who practices at UC San Francisco — were issued notices of violation under The City’s vacant-building ordinance, according to the Department of Building Inspection.
King has 15 days to prove that the homes are occupied or he faces penalties of up to $7,000 per home, according to department spokesman William Strawn.
The homes are on large lots that overlook the Pacific Ocean and abut protected open space maintained by the National Park Service. King, who has owned one of the homes since 1980 and the other since 2000, has become the subject of neighborhood ire for allowing the properties to fall into such disrepair that they are a magnet for illegal lodging and arson.
A January fire — possibly started at a homeless encampment and the fifth such blaze at the property since 2004 — nearly consumed three homes, according to fire officials. King, however, has proved an immoveable force. He has been cited in the past for his properties’ condition but has not shown up for administrative hearings, according to Building Inspector Keith Mather, who oversees the vacant-building program.
King also has proved capable of violating The City’s vacant building ordinance. A home is not subject to the $795 annual vacant-building fee if it’s occupied — or if work is being done on the property. King took out a work permit in 2004 on one of the homes to perform plumbing improvements, records show, though it was revoked seven years later after inspectors found that no work was done. A penalty of roughly $1,000 remains outstanding, Strawn said.
It’s not known why King has allowed the two large homes to disintegrate. He has not responded to requests for comment. Neighbors say he works and appears to have financial means.
If the building inspection penalties aren’t enough to compel King to clean up his act, the situation could be referred to the City Attorney’s Office for possible civil action, including a property seizure, according to aides for Supervisor Eric Mar, who represents the area.