Alison Collins and her husband list a $2.9 million SF home despite an unresolved building code violation


Former San Francisco school board member Alison Collins and her husband, real estate developer Chris Collins, have put their Russian Hill property up for sale despite at least one unresolved building code violation.

The three-story home costs $2.9 million and is being marketed by brokerage firm Compass, according to a property listing notable for its “gracious master suite with expansive city views, walk-in rainfall shower and freestanding slipper tub, and wet bar.” in the hallway that serves advertises as a coffee station and curated pantry.” The nearly 3,000-square-foot property features three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two offices, and two wet bars.

The city ruled last year that illegal construction and an illegal merging of two apartments had taken place on the property and the building still does not fully comply with city planning regulations. The Collinses were approved and granted permission to build a second kitchen in the basement to ensure there are two separate apartments that comply with regulations, said Dan Sider, the planning department’s chief of staff. But it’s not “complete” yet, which would solve all of the department’s compliance issues, Sider said.

The breach lasts nearly 11 months after a city-imposed deadline for the Collinses to resolve the issues. While still non-compliant, the property’s property listing highlights a “legal ground floor apartment” that could serve as a rental unit, guest accommodation, gym or other purpose.

Alison Collins did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The Chronicle does not publish the address of the building because of the potential for nuisance.

Laurance Lee, an activist who supported the school board’s recall, found the sales list and shared a link with The Chronicle on Wednesday. The authenticity of the entry has been confirmed in the service’s database for several of the city’s entries.

The sales list appears to have prompted additional scrutiny by the city. On Tuesday, one person filed a complaint with the Building Inspectorate, alleging that more construction work went beyond the scope of permits, including the reconstruction of the front staircase and basement entrance. The person associated with the property’s sales listing and the city assigned the case to a county inspector on Wednesday, city records show.

It is not clear if other violations are pending. Six building complaints for work without permits tied to the property were completed in September 2021 and November 2021, according to the city’s database. The building control authority did not initially have any further information.

It is the second time the Collinses have attempted to sell the property after being dumped in 2019 at a price of $3.25 million, according to property records. The Collinses bought the property in 2003 for $780,000.

Alison Collins was overwhelmingly recalled along with two other school board members in February after a series of controversies including the slow reopening of schools and the removal of merit-based admissions at Lowell High School. Collins infuriated critics even more after 2016 tweets racist towards Asian Americans surfaced in March 2021.

Collins later sued the school district for violating free speech, but the lawsuit was dismissed by a federal judge.

Two weeks after the controversy began, an unusually lengthy 103-page anonymous complaint was sent to the Department of Planning, meticulously detailing allegations of unauthorized construction and an illegal merger on the Collinses’ property. The city broadly agreed that violations had occurred.

The identity of the author of the complaint was never disclosed, but in an email to The Chronicle last fall, the author said he wished to remain anonymous to avoid retaliation from Alison Collins. The city confirmed that the person’s email address matched the original complaint.

The violations came despite Chris Collins’ long career in real estate. According to the company’s website, he co-founded Urban Pacific Development and has worked on over 150 real estate projects in more than 25 years. His largest projects include the One Rincon Hill residential tower and the vacant 542-550 Howard St. in Transbay.

Roland Li (he/him) is a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @rolandlisf


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