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News: 12/15/2008

Fined vacation rental subject of hearing

A Kenwood property owner appeared in front of an administrative hearing officer Dec. 5 to appeal a fine over what county code enforcement officials say was an illegal event at the residence earlier this year on Sept. 20.

Specifically, county officials say that the Kenilworth Ave. residential property, often rented out as a vacation rental, was the site of a large gathering of people in violation of county codes, specifically an event of 35 or more people.

The owner of the Kenilworth Ave. home, San Francisco resident William Triggs, argued that the evidence the county was relying on, a video from a neighbor’s security camera showing a number of vehicles entering the property, didn’t prove their case.

Triggs said he had talked to his renters (who had a wedding and reception at different locations earlier that day) and the driver of a shuttle bus who had said there were fewer than 35 people on the property at the time in question.

A number of Triggs’ neighbors appeared at the Dec. 5 hearing, one who testified about counting 18 vehicles that evening. (The video shows about 13 entering the property’s front gate, but doesn’t show any vehicles that might, or might not have, already have been there.)

Though the hearing was specifically about the Sept. 20 incident, many neighbors took the opportunity to comment about many previous problems they’ve had with Triggs’ vacation rental, especially with noise and traffic on the one-lane road. The rental is advertised as sleeping up to 12 people.

Stephanie Coogler, an attorney for neighbor Richard Koretz, said that Triggs cannot control who he rents to, and that the property is a continuing public nuisance.

The administrative hearing officer will issue a written decision on the matter, but most likely not until February.

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