Draft legislation introduced by Board President David Chiu seeks to address this concern by requiring owners of vacant properties to register their empty buildings with the city so that inspectors can play a more proactive role in detecting problems before it's too late.
At a March 26 Planning Commission meeting, Charles Marsteller, former head of government watchdog group Common Cause, told commissioners he had attended the demolition of the Lombard Street cottage. When it came down, he says, he realized how unique it was and earnestly told planning commissioners that he thinks the Little House should be reconstructed, and the lot turned into a park.
As for the demolition, "It was just a put-on by some insiders in City Hall working the network that they normally work," Marsteller says. "And it shouldn't have happened."