A Superior Court judge has approved the recommendation of a court-appointed receiver to demolish a three-unit residential building in Santa Monica that has been the site of chronic Code violations for many years.
The building, located at 2438 Ocean Park Boulevard, consists of three units, one of which is occupied by the building owner, Guillermo Gonzalez, who previously filed an appeal of the court’s decision to appoint the receiver.
In her rulings, Judge Lisa Hart Cole also granted a stay of the demolition until Gonzelez’s appeal is resolved. It is not known how long the appeal process will take. Judge Cole set a status conference in the case for August 11.
The receiver, Century City-based attorney David Pasternak, has assumed full control of the property. He advised the court in papers filed recently that the cost of repairing the property and bringing it up to Code was prohibitively high and that the property would be worth more with no structures on it than with a repaired three-unit structure.
The Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office filed the case on behalf of the City after receiving numerous complaints about the property from neighbors. Twice in the past several years, the City Attorney’s Office had filed criminal charges against Gonzalez to compel him to bring the building up to Code. Both times Gonzalez was convicted but nonetheless refused to make repairs. In both cases he served time in Los Angeles County Jail for his refusals.The City Attorney’s Consumer Protection Unit finally sought the court-appointed receiver as a last resort to assure that the property be made safe and legal. Judge Cole of the Beverly Hills Superior Court granted the City’s request for the receiver at a January 6 hearing.