A not-so-neighborly letter circulating amongst Mark Zuckerberg’s Mission District neighbors entangles the Facebook CEO in an issue that many San Franciscans generally do not take lightly – parking spaces.
Some residents of Liberty Hill, where Zuckerberg bought his home at the cross of Fair Oakes and 21st streets for a reported $10 million in 2013, have passed around a letter that accuses his security team of unnecessarily taking up “two desirable parking spaces.”
But not all neighbors feel disgruntled by Zuckerberg’s parking space “hogging” employees.
“It’s one car, who cares?” said a neighbor who lives just a few houses down from Zuckerberg. “Yes, he could [instruct his security] t0 park differently or in his driveway, but oh well. I have some friends who complain but it’s not that big of a deal.”
In regards to Zuckerberg’s security presence, this neighbor said that people should be “grateful” and added that some of the complaints come from people who “don’t even live on the street.” It’s unclear how many neighbors are complaining.
Along with describing life in the vicinity of the CEO as “cumbersome,” the author of the letter, obtained by Buzzfeed, also states that the two silver SUVs driven by Zuckerberg’s security force are parking on the street illegally, and are forcing neighbors to do the same:
“We’ve spoken to the security guards and they were cordial but ultimately have been instructed by their supervisors to not move the cars under any circumstances. They acknowledge that they are occupying the space with no turnover and illegally. So, on weekends such as this, I have to park illegally in front of the apartment that I live in full-time and risk the chance of getting an expensive ticket by MTA. “
“When I get a parking ticket, I have to pay $76 for it,” said Bryan Foster, a neighbor who lives down the block from Zuckerberg.
In the absence of parking restrictions such as permit zones, street sweeping or posted limits, cars have a legal maximum stay of 72 hours in one parking spot, according to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Parked vehicles that overstay this limit are subject to a warning, citation and/or tow fees, even with a parking permit– which the letter’s author claims the guards currently do not have.
“Clearly, none of this is happening,” wrote the author of the letter.
Paul Rose, the spokesperson for the SFMTA, acknowledged that the agency has received complaints to the “enforcement line associated with this area,” and has followed-up.
“When a violation has been found we have written citations,” said Rose, adding that on Thursday, SFMTA staff was sent to the location to remind “folks involved of the rules.”
“We will continue to monitor the situation and enforce as needed,” he said.
A spokesperson for Zuckerberg said in a written statement that the security team’s cars are parked in accordance with local laws, and that “the team strives to be sensitive to neighbors’ concerns and regrets any inconvenience.”
Part of the issue, said Foster, is that from what he can tell, Zuckerberg isn’t even present at the residence.
“This man has two security cars parked 24 hours per day outside of his place when he hasn’t even been here. [The security] has been here since the construction began,” he said. “I think that’s paranoid. But it isn’t merely the parking. It’s more, what are they doing here.”
Two security guards standing outside of Zuckerberg’s home were indeed “cordial” when approached on Friday afternoon – and at least one silver SUV belonging to the security team was visible, parked in a street spot directly in front of the residence.
“Why don’t they park in his driveway?” Foster wanted to know. The letter’s author echoed Foster’s sentiment:
“I want to add that Zuck’s guards could park in his driveway or in front of his driveway with no issue but refuse to do so as that is not what they are instructed to do. One of the guards mentioned that she agreed that even from a security standpoint, where the cars are parked don’t give the best vantage points and that she thinks they should be driving around and having a guard posted on both sides of [the street]. All and all, none of this makes any sense.”
Although stating that they did not have the authority to comment on the letter, one guard said that the team is “told where to park.”
The other optimistically said that the issue “will be resolved.”
A phone call to the head of Zuckerberg’s security team, Residential Security Manager Tim Wenzel, was not returned.