A real estate-savvy couple is now the proud owner of the streets and sidewalks of uber-wealthy, uber-exclusive San Francisco gated community Presidio Terrace. But residents of the 35 mega-mansions lining the private, oval-shaped street are pushing back, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. South Bay couple Tina Lam and Michael Cheng scooped up the street at a city-run auction for a little over $90,000 in 2015. The street was up for grabs due to unpaid property taxes that the community’s homeowner’s association neglected to pay for 30 years. Seeking to recover the $14 owed per year, the city put the street up for sale. (Plus interest and penalties, the bill amounted to a whopping $994.) Residents say they didn’t know about the back taxes or sale until this May, when a title search company hired by Cheng and Lam sent out letters asking if property owners were interested in buying the street back.
Per Curbed, the Presidio Terrace Association filed a complaint claiming that the address the city used to bill the association was not associated with any of its members. A Treasurer-Tax Collector spokesperson says the city followed all requirements, adding that almost all local homeowners "pay their taxes on time—and they keep their mailing address up to date.” According to the Chronicle, Cheng and Lam’s property comes with plenty of financial opportunity, including making residents pay for street parking. But Lam asserts that owning the once white-only property goes beyond dollar signs: “I really just wanted to own something in San Francisco because of my affinity for the city.” Meanwhile, the association has petitioned the Board of Supervisors to negate the sale—a hearing is scheduled for October—and sued the couple and the city in an attempt to block the property being sold to anyone else while the appeal is pending. (Read more real estate stories.)