Hello, What’s This?

The Short Version: The new tenants at 661 Divisadero filed a building permit saying they would not install openable windows, then installed openable windows. If you want to help, you can complain to dbicustomerservice@sfgov.org. Full instructions for doing so are below, at bottom.

The Long Version:

I found something interesting browsing the city records. The new tenants at 661 Divisadero filed a building permit in August stating that they would be sealing the windows in the garage bar. This was several weeks before they met in person with a neighborhood representative, and told him they planned to install ordinary openable double-hung (2 vertically-sliding panes) windows.


We independently contacted a couple of contractors, who told us that city permits must be obeyed to the letter. “Fixed & non-operable” means “Fixed & non-operable”.

Looks good, right?

But, Wait! There’s more!

So, imagine my surprise, when yesterday they installed a row of openable double-hung windows, exactly as they told the neighbor who met with them a couple of weeks ago they would – exactly as their building permit prohibits.

Here, you can see some of the windows just before installation, plainly openable, then the windows as installed, and finally… well, you’ve just gotta see the third thing for yourself.









Now, here’s the thing. The very same neighbor who met with the new restauranteur to express neighbor concerns happened to walk by and watched them install these windows. Once they were installed, he watched the contractors loosely screw a wood screw into the window frame, temporarily blocking them from being openable. These screws are, obviously, easily removable.

So, it looks like they’re going to try and pass these completely openable windows off as “unopenable” because they put in removable screws to temporarily block them from being opened. They haven’t glued them, set permanent nails, or done anything at all to actually seal or soundproof them. The panes are free-floating within their frames, and the gaps between the panes, and between each pane and the frame, are still completely unfixed and motile. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that as soon as all the inspections are passed and the licenses are issued, those screws are going to come right back out.

I would be very disappointed if the licensing authorities are satisfied by such a transparent ploy.

So, all in all, the new owner has heard the neighbor complaints, and this was his response: to ignore them. He’s decided to pursue the same exact course of action that the failed La Urbana’s owners did. That’s too bad – for him.

How You Can Help

If you want, you can send a complaint email to dbicustomerservice@sfgov.org and tell them that 661 Divisadero, Permit application 201709056928, has installed operable, non-fixed windows in violation of their permit. The more neighbors speak up, the more likely they are to take it seriously. 

About Author: GroveResidents.org
A community point of contact for issues & discussions related to the rights of tenants and homeowners on and around Grove Street in the Popeye's Gulch neighborhood of San Francisco, CA