City can buy Lombard parcel

The City can buy a sliver of land on Lombard Street and turn it into a North Beach park even if its owners don’t want to sell the property, a Superior Court judge has decided.

Brian O’Flynn and Martin Coyne, owners of the 4,119-square-foot piece of land at 701 Lombard St., across from Joe DiMaggio Playground, once had hopes of building nine condominiums on what is now a parking lot. Flynn wanted to buy one of the units and live in it with his elderly mother, his attorney Jonathan Bass said.

That was before the Board of Supervisors voted in February 2004 to move forward with the acquisition of the property through the use of eminent domain — a legal method for government bodies to seize private property for public uses.

The City sued the property owners as part of the eminent domain proceedings. This first procedural step clears the way for San Francisco to buy the land, valued at more than $2 million.

The City and the owners have until today to raise objections to the 17-page decision that could be appealed. Bass said he doesn’t plan to dispute the judge’s findings.

“The City acknowledges that it decided to take [the land] to prevent the condominium project,” Bass said. “[The owners] feel they had an opportunity taken from them.”

Last week’s decision by Superior Court Judge Diane Wick finds that The City may use eminent domain and that its owners are not entitled to additional compensation resulting from the loss of their condominium plan.

“We’re very pleased with the decision,” said Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office. “We appreciate the care with which the judge ruled in the case.”

Vedica Puri, the president of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, said the additional park space could only improve the quality of life for residents and visitors to the densely populated neighborhood.

The amount of money Coyne and O’Flynn receive is likely to be decided by a jury during what is typically the most protracted portion of eminent domain battles.

The City’s Recreation and Park Department has no specific plans for the site if The City does end up buying the property, which is expected to cost upward of $2 million.

“We would have to have some dialogue with the community,” said Rose Dennis, a spokeswoman for the parks department. “It’s to be determined.”

mcarroll@examiner.com

Superior Court judge rules sliver of North Beach land wanted for park can proceed

By Melanie Carroll

Staff Writer

The City can buy a sliver of land on Lombard Street and turn it into a North Beach park even if its owners don’t want to sell the property, a Superior Court judge has decided.

Brian O’Flynn and Martin Coyne, owners of the 4,119-square-foot piece of land at 701 Lombard St., across from Joe DiMaggio Playground, once had hopes of building nine condominiums on what is now a parking lot. Flynn wanted to buy one of the units and live in it with his elderly mother, his attorney Jonathan Bass said.

That was before the Board of Supervisors voted in February 2004 to move forward with the acquisition of the property through the use of eminent domain — a legal method for government bodies to seize private property for public uses.

The City sued the property owners as part of the eminent domain proceedings. This first procedural step clears the way for San Francisco to buy the land, valued at more than $2 million.

The City and the owners have until today to raise objections to the 17-page decision that could be appealed. Bass said he doesn’t plan to dispute the judge’s findings.

“The City acknowledges that it decided to take [the land] to prevent the condominium project,” Bass said. “[The owners] feel they had an opportunity taken from them.”

Last week’s decision by Superior Court Judge Diane Wick finds that The City may use eminent domain and that its owners are not entitled to additional compensation resulting from the loss of their condominium plan.

“We’re very pleased with the decision,” said Matt Dorsey, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office. “We appreciate the care with which the judge ruled in the case.”

Vedica Puri, the president of the Telegraph Hill Dwellers, said the additional park space could only improve the quality of life for residents and visitors to the densely populated neighborhood.

The amount of money Coyne and O’Flynn receive is likely to be decided by a jury during what is typically the most protracted portion of eminent domain battles.

The City’s Recreation and Park Department has no specific plans for the site if The City does end up buying the property, which is expected to cost upward of $2 million.

“We would have to have some dialogue with the community,” said Rose Dennis, a spokeswoman for the parks department. “It’s to be determined.”

mcarroll@examiner.com

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