Gum police? SF property manager angered by notice from city that threatens fine

A property manager in San Francisco's Tenderloin District says she's angry about a notice she received from the city that threatens a fine for the gum and grime on the sidewalk.

The property manager says that's the least of their worries after cleaning up after drug users and the homeless population that inhabits the area. 

Property manager Summer Shannon said she works hard to keep the sidewalk clean and that the violation notice from the city is unfair and unwarranted. 

She created a fairy tale-like garden in the back of the six-story Alhambra Apartments, located on the 800 block of Geary Boulevard for the children who live in the building. However, in front of the building there's no fairy tale in sight. 

"My idea was to...since the outside was so untenable, they would have a fairy tale back here," Shannon said. "We have a lot of encampments. We have a lot of rampant drug use, piles of humans on the corner with needles stuck in their arms on a regular basis." 

She shared photos with us of what she said happens daily: People living on the streets who leave garbage, syringes and human waste on the sidewalks. 

"It's palpable. You can smell it when you walk by," Shannon said. "We power wash the sidewalks every day. You have to." 

Yet, the San Francisco native said she received notice of violation from the city public works department stating that grime and gum be removed from the sidewalk in front of the building, or they would face a $1,000 fine. 


The mere idea that the city is wasting resources on gum police is insane," Shannon said. 

A spokeswoman for public works said the notice is a warning and that, "We will be happy to discuss concerns with the property owner and or property manager and see how we can work together." 

Shannon said having to pay fines will lead to higher rents. 

Tenants blame the city. 

"It's really unfair. They're going to pass in onto the tenants," said Jason, a tenant at the Alhambra Apartments who did not give his last name. 

"I can't keep living like this. It's really stressful," said tenant, Jordan Nathan. 

Despite the problems, Shannon said she won't give up trying to make this a better place to live for her neighbors and tenants. 

"This building has a lot of love. This neighborhood has a lot of character and a lot of love in it. We're forced to stay inside. What's outside is soul killing," Shannon said. 

Shannon said she plans to appeal the violation and hopes to meet with city leaders.