Thanks to some last-minute discussions with city staffers and city councilmembers, it appears that a majority of the eviction notices served to the tenants at 120 Gray Avenue have — at least for now — been put on hold by property owner Janet Nancarrow. Served last month to 14 of the tenants at the longtime Funk Zone work yard, the 30-day notices required that the various cabinetmakers, welders, boat builders, and assorted other tradesmen vacate by this Thursday, May 27, as a result of numerous zoning, building code, and fire and safety violations found during a series of inspections late last fall. In a deal based on good-faith efforts, the city has agreed to give Nancarrow an extension as she continues her work to remedy the violations. “Our staff and the city made it pretty clear [to Nancarrow] that it is not in our interest to lose small businesses like those on Gray Avenue,” explained Councilmember Das Williams recently.
Part and parcel with the semi-good news, Nancarrow must continue to bring the property into compliance, something she has been doing for the better part of the past five months. A final and crucial hurdle for her to eventually clear is getting a re-zone or “as-built” permit for the property that reflects the reality on the ground in the work yard as it has changed in the six decades since it was the Weber Bread Bakery — the last occupant for which the city has a set of blueprints for the property. Getting the permit is a lengthy, challenging, and potentially financially taxing process that would require a California Coastal Commission sign-off, and it remains to be seen when exactly — or even if — this could be achieved. “Now that we have a little bit of time, I need to look into it more,” summed up Nancarrow late last week. For his part, Williams added, “It’s sort of up to the property owner at this point, but I certainly hope she sees fit to continue moving through the city process [rather than revisiting the evictions route].”