Presidio Terrace is a lush green area overlooking San Francisco’s Embarcadero. Designed as a public park, Presidio Terrace is a unique location that enjoys a protected nature and as a result, a protected right to redress. The area is widely regarded as a public space. According to law, it is open to all citizens regardless of the laws that may be in effect elsewhere in the city. In other words, one can enjoy the beauty and ambiance of Presidio Terrace without worrying about disturbing others.
Presidio Terrace Lawsuit
However, this open, public space is not without its problems. For many years, Presidio Terrace was considering a perfect location for hosting an outdoor wedding reception parties. This location is ideally suited for holding outdoor events because it is located in a scenic and idyllic part of town.
There is no noise pollution, and the grassy areas are not overly crowded. People who are unable to attend city functions due to physical or health reasons can still enjoy San Francisco’s Presidio Terrace. The lawsuit was filed by an individual who suffered from a heart attack during the planning process.
The plaintiff, Michael J. Smith, sought to hold the City responsible for his injuries because he was not allowed to participate in the planning of his wedding.
He suffered a stroke and now suffers from severe memory loss. The victim’s family is seeking financial compensation in an effort to cover medical bills and other expenses. In the Presidio Terrace lawsuit, Smith v. City of San Francisco, the plaintiffs argue that they have a legal right to the serenity and peace that are offered by Presidio Terrace.
The suit follows a story that is familiar to many of San Francisco residents.
Several years ago, a group of friends planned an intimate gathering on the Pier, but rain clouds suddenly appeared and canceled the party. Because of the cancellation, the group was forced to host their party at the owner’s home.
Thereafter, the plaintiff, Mr. Smith, hired the services of San Francisco contractor, Jon Bitzer, to design and construct a gazebo for the outdoor gathering.
As was to be expected, the contractor made several modifications to the property. According to the complaint, the modifications included placing benches on the pavement in front of the property, which prevented the plaintiffs from sitting or lying down comfortably. Another issue with the property involved the placement of pots on the pavement in front of the building. The pots placed on the pavement actually blocked the view of the guests, who could not see the bride and groom.
The plaintiffs further claim that the owner installed metal beams between the pavement and the ceiling of the house, preventing the couples from walking up the staircase.
They further claim that the owner did not allow them access to the roof of the house where they could have enjoyed the view over the park. Jon Bitzer responded by filing a counter-suit against Smith. In this suit, he contends that the plaintiffs violated the San Francisco homeowners’ right of quiet enjoyment.
While he acknowledges that his modifications enhanced the appearance of the property, he contends that the modifications in fact caused the couples’ visit to be disrupted. He also points out that although the Presidio Terrace lawsuit has been dismissed, he is still pursuing the case in an attempt to recover lost time and money.