San Anselmo news

Marin judge finalizes ruling against San Anselmo councilman on zoning violation By Richard Halstead 27 Mar 2015, 05:50 PM San Anselmo Councilman Ford Greene lives in the basement apartment of the building he owns. A Marin Superior Court judge finalized his ruling Thursday rejecting an appeal by San Anselmo Councilman Ford Greene aimed at allowing him to continue living in the basement apartment of the building he owns without making costly improvements to the structure. Judge Paul Haakenson denied a request by Greene to overturn a decision issued by Administrative Law Judge David Benjamin in May. For Greene it was the third time his arguments have fallen on deaf ears. At issue is whether Greene is violating the town’s zoning laws by living in the basement apartment of his building at 711 Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The San Anselmo Planning Commission ruled against Greene in February 2013. When Greene appealed that decision to the Town Council, the council hired Benjamin to serve as its surrogate. Benjamin ruled against Greene after listening to hours of oral arguments and reviewing 1,500 pages of documents submitted by the town and another 1,900 pages from Greene. In his ruling, Haakenson agreed with Benjamin that Greene had failed to prove that his basement apartment was being used for residential purposes legally on Feb. 26, 1991, when a new zoning law prohibiting residential use in that area took effect. Greene didn’t indicate Friday whether he intends to continue prosecuting his case through the courts. “I am examining the 23-page decision by the Superior Court,” Greene said. ” I have a time frame to make a decision on the next steps in this arduous process of fighting for my home. At the appropriate time I will comment on the merits of the decision and manner in which I will proceed.” San Anselmo Councilman McInerney said, “The decision is very thoughtful and detailed, and is not at all surprising. My hope is this is the end of any litigation and we just move forward with legalizing the property.” To date the town has spent about $150,000 attempting to get Greene to conform with San Anselmo’s zoning laws. The town paid the administrative law judge $20,000 for his work and has spent another $130,000 on outside legal counsel. Greene has already been granted a conditional use permit that will allow him to continue living where he is if he makes necessary changes. Those changes, however, figure to be costly. In his tentative ruling, Haakenson stated that “building and fire officials determined the basement does not comply with building codes requirements for habitable space, the main ingress/egress is too low, the ceiling height is noncompliant, and there is not enough light for a living space.” In his decision, Benjamin said necessary alterations include installation of a fire sprinkler system throughout the building, installation of a fire alarm system and the raising of ceiling heights in the basement. by TaboolaSponsored Links From The Web Put Your Disney Knowledge To The Ultimate Test Zimbio Cooking Duck: Pan-Seared Breast and Roasted Legs 10 Essential Winter Skincare Tips Amerikanki 20 Signs You’re Succeeding In Life Even If You Don’t Feel You Are GoWeLoveIt David N. Swaim Tam Realty Inc Owner DRE#1070789 415-710-5504 609 San Anselmo Ave San Anselmo CA 94960 Serving all of Marin County

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