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City could force woman to remove part of historic home to make way for park with AIDS memorial

Posted at 5:15 PM, Feb 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-27 22:06:53-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- A Bankers Hill woman may be forced to tear down part of her historic home to make way for a city park with an AIDS memorial.

Otherwise, she faces thousands of dollars in daily fines from the city.

Jennifer Hasso has owned the 1924 Tudor-style home since 1998. She says she's invested millions to restore it to its glory. The city even designated it as historic.

The house sits at the end of 2nd Avenue in Bankers Hill. Right behind it, a nearly one-acre site on Olive Street the city is eyeing for a community park with an AIDS memorial. The park would also include fitness and seating areas, walkways and an overlook deck.

County property maps show the city owns the land immediately north of Hasso's home, which has no setback from its property line. In fact, Hasso's bay window and chimney extend over that property line, and her entire backyard extend is across that line.

The city served Hasso with at least five violations at $500 per day each, ordering her to tear down her bay window and chimney, and remove her air conditioner, irrigation system, cobblestone, rock wall, and lamp post. Hasso says it would cost her tens of thousands of dollars and ruin her property's value.

"This house stands exactly on the footprint it did when it was permitted in 1924," Hasso said. "This is the house that was built."

Hasso sued the city in Federal Court. She says she owns the land next to her home due to what's called adverse possession. In other words, Hasso says she and owners for almost a century have maintained the property behind a fence with no issue.

The city in a statement says its code enforcement division researched the property and stands by its decision that it owns the land. The Uptown Planning Group may review the Olive Park project at its April meeting.