January 27, 2014

Remains Of Collapsed Home Hoisted, "Remodeling" To Recommence

125%20Crown%20Terrace%201-27-14.jpg

Having collapsed last month, what little remains of the original home at 125 Crown Terrace has been jacked, hoisted, and craned back up the hill a bit.

According to a plugged-in tipster, the remains will be surrounded by new construction and become part of the garage, a supposed city mandate to allow Mel Murphy, the well-connected local developer who once served as president of San Francisco's Building Inspection Commission and was denied a permit to demolish the original structure on the site in order to build an all-new home, to continue with his "remodeling" project.

Once "remodeled," the Twin Peaks home at 125 Crown Terrace will measure 5,139 square feet. As the then closer to 1,000-square-foot home looked a little before its collapse:

First Published: January 27, 2014 2:00 PM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

And that, folks, is a classic example of San Francisco corruption at it's finest

Posted by: SFJohn at January 27, 2014 2:47 PM

well connected = self serving

Hmmn, let's see...5000 sq ft...I'm sure it will get slapped a "green" sticker on it because the owner is well connected, of course. That square footage sure would look good if it involved 5 units instead of a McMansion. Ed Lee where are you on this?

Posted by: Mark at January 27, 2014 3:29 PM

Ahh, good to see the Murphia still has sway in parts of City Hall...

Posted by: Brid at January 27, 2014 10:02 PM

How dare any of you criticize him for building out HIS property as HE sees fit? The project conforms to zoning for the site and has been approved by planning. There is simply nothing to discuss.

Posted by: Jimmy the House Flipper at January 28, 2014 7:20 AM

I tend to agree that if it's being built within existing zoning guidelines, then he should have a right to do what he wants. I think part of the umbrage here is over the preservation of a mere couple walls making it a "remodel" (just like that hanging facade in Pacific Heights).

Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 28, 2014 8:13 AM

He has the right to do what he wants? The house fell down the hill, he is lucky nobody was killed. Are you guys serious?

Posted by: helmut at January 28, 2014 9:40 AM

So, his right to develop his property goes away if there's an accident?

Even if it was a deliberate "accident", it's *private* property. Unless you want to take his development rights by eminent domain, believe it or not he has a right to build within the scope of the zoning code.

Posted by: Sierrajeff at January 28, 2014 9:53 AM

I find it deeply ironical that our over-reaching rules were designed precisely to ensure safety as well as making sure you would fit into your surroundings. But because these rules exist, people have to pull incredible stunts to achieve what they want to do, including dangling buildings, hanging facade, buildings that are left to rot or burn to force the hand of the city.

These are precisely the threats to public safety the building code was supposed to prevent! And the neighborhood has a temporary eyesore that looks more like a third world slum than a first world construction site!

Posted by: lol at January 28, 2014 9:58 AM

It always helps to know well the rules of the game! This guy knows the rules, he figured out how to use the rules when a stupid decision when against him, and he got what he wanted. All perfectly legal. This was not a case of corruption, just stupid bureaucracy at work, and a clever way to navigate it. Kudos to him. Shame on the City.

I understand the criticisms about the risks to life/property he created. But he appears to have known what he was doing and engineered this "accident" to be safe and confined.

Posted by: anon at January 28, 2014 10:51 AM

Honestly, I couldn't care less what the guy wants to do with his property...I was merely making a snarky comment about how the city cries that not enough units are being built, and then we come upon someone who's building a single family mansion.

Posted by: Mark at January 28, 2014 11:27 AM

@anon…I don't get it, why the implication that this was an intended "accident" when end result is that he has to waste enormous resources to save the fallen structure and thus continue with the project? If he knows the rules of the game, and had already spent multiple years to get his permitted remodel, why stall it with an "accident" that he then has to fix at great expense??

Posted by: FixThis at January 28, 2014 11:29 AM

The funniest thing about this 'remodel' is the owner claiming he is building it for his family. I wonder how fast the "for Sale" sign will go up. Of course he has a right to sell the property. But I am so amused when developers insist they are going to 'live there', presumably to evoke some empathy.

Posted by: yellap at January 28, 2014 12:40 PM

I don't know if it was an accident or "accident" that the house collapsed but an "accident" would make sense if betting that an emergency demolition permit would be issued following the collapse.

This whole thing stinks.

Posted by: Michael at January 28, 2014 12:40 PM

^^^ maybe he had hoped to get away with out much notice. I'm sure that the city officials have some degree if discretion when reviewing such "accidents".

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at January 28, 2014 12:41 PM

Is there an official Vegas over/under for whether the 'recovered' structure survives the first meaningful rainfall/foul weather of the next few days? I think the developer has used the exact same Jenga logs as before in his attempt to hold up the remnants of that ill-fated structure. What tragic irony if the 'storm' were to destroy it once and for all...and by tragic irony I do mean blissful release.

Posted by: no_ vally at January 29, 2014 12:28 AM

There should be no problem salvaging the remaining portions of this and tasetfully incorporating it into a new dwelling. Once they remove the studs, plaster, floor, sub-floor, upgrade the existing rafters and put new drywall, new electric / plumb to code and new flooring you will hardly even be able to find anything from existing project.

Posted by: eddy at January 29, 2014 12:41 PM

^^^
only Mel Murphy's grin will remain
_____

namelink warning: once you look you can't unlook.

Posted by: Jake at January 29, 2014 1:30 PM

Not sure links are allowed on SS, but I'm sure plenty of Monte Python fans already had a flashback to the swamp castle scene..."they told me not to build a castle in a swamp but I built it anyway. And it sank into the swamp. So I built another, and it sank into the swamp. Then I built a third; it fell over, burned down, then sank into the swamp. But the fourth..." Surely a distant ancestor of Mel??

Posted by: no_ vally at January 29, 2014 1:37 PM

Posted by: SocketSite at February 13, 2014 8:54 AM

someone should check how many times this guy has "underquoted" a remodel for permit process. Or how many times his "remodels" have become complete teardowns and rebuilt.

Hell, he knows the game and plays it well - but is that ethically correct?

Posted by: wordbird at February 14, 2014 10:27 AM

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