The man put in charge of getting thousands of code violations fixed at eight of Dario Pini’s Santa Barbara properties has his eye on retirement, the court learned recently. In a deposition held in September, Hoffman related that he’d actually been considering retirement a year or two before being appointed Pini’s receiver in April 2018. Since then, monthly delays lengthened the receivership, and his health has become an issue, Hoffman said.
Hoffman entered the picture after a trial in Judge Colleen Sterne’s courtroom, the end result of more than two decades of cat-and-mouse tensions between Pini and city building inspectors over permit-free construction at his neglected rentals. In the 20 months since, repairs at 320 West Mission, the first of the eight properties to start construction, have moved toward 76 percent completion — the receiver must now decide how to get tenants in and out of upper floors when the sole set of stairs is reconstructed. At Los Aguajes and East Carrillo, walls erected without permits must be demolished. At West Arrellaga, extensive dry rot between connecting floors was uncovered when tenants moved out of overcrowded apartments, requiring a structural analysis and adding to construction costs. The San Pascual property is in the midst of being sold, pending court approval.