An Ocean Beach Garage Repair Has Locals Steamed

by on June 22, 2016 · 19 comments

in Culture, Environment, History, Homelessness, Life Events, Ocean Beach

OB Eber st garage2They’ve been doing it for years – if not decades. A local OB garage repair parks its customers’ cars and vehicles on adjoining public streets. And sometimes those vehicles sit there … for long periods of time.

Well, now, neighbors of the garage are so steamed that they have filed a complaint with the City of San Diego.

Everybody knows the Eber Street Garage at the corner of Voltaire and Eber Street in north-east Ocean Beach. And it’s Tony Calfato’s – the owner’s – habit of having his employees park the cars they are working on or that have been fixed on Eber Street, or around the corner of Lotus, or up a block on Froude.

So, nine residences have complained. Homeowners, tenants – from all the surrounding streets. They have filed a citation against the garage, have a case manager, who has been out there on site and who has taken dozens of photos.

Is anything happening?

Not really, locals say.

Tony’s workers have reportedly laughed in the City rep’s face. Christopher Penman is the man from the City dealing with this – with Claim # is 230992. (Penman can be reached at 619-236-6731 Cpenman@sandiego.gov ) and he has reported on his interactions with the garage.

Eber Street Garage is apparently in violation of San Diego Municipal Code section 86.0137 – prohibition of use of streets for Storage Or Service or Sale of Vehicles or for Habitation.

By the garage’s use of public streets for its private parking lot, the practice has seriously cut down the number of available parking for locals. One homeowner reportedly became involved in the complaint after he came home from a business trip and could not find any parking on his street.

In addition, to the loss of parking, locals have complained that some of the vehicles and cars left by the garage sit there for days and even weeks, some even are covered.

Another complaint is that homeless are camping in between these parked vehicles knowing full well that they won’t be moved.

Now, a rep from Councilwoman Zapf’s office has become involved. Conrad Wear has been sending out his own emails. Other politicians have reportedly been informed of the situation, as well as has the police.

To the neighbors, the garage and its owner have the attitude of not caring for the plight of the neighbors, and would rather pay the small fines for continuing the practice than in finding a better, more permanent solution.

 

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Geoff Page Geoff Page June 22, 2016 at 12:55 pm

I’ve lived in this area for 30 years and the garage has been there that long, if not longer. The problem is not the garage as much as it is the density increase in OB, legal and illegal, and people having more cars. I live on a street with parking problems so I am sympathetic but in this case, not so much. This is a local OB business and we need those. On top of that, it is a local garage and lots of folks need that. One popular local garage, San Diego Bus Repair, abruptly closed its doors a few months ago leaving one less choice for people with older vehicles. I agree that leaving cars for more than 72 hours and covering cars and storing them is wrong. Work on fixing that but don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater so to speak. If the neighbors make it too tough to do business at that location, we will all be the poorer for it.

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RC June 22, 2016 at 4:02 pm

If you don’t treat the neighborhood right, we want your business gone. Courteous and law abiding business’ only. Violates can go elsewhere!!!

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Ano June 22, 2016 at 6:29 pm

Geoff please go to google maps and review the photos from three different streets and back the last three years. I was just like you, but then checked google maps and was shocked and realized why the city is on top of this. I am not sure what life would have been like for you had a company played within the rules. Also with the fire station working hard to get to dangerous situations it would have been better over the years if they never had to worry about waiting for access to get to a serious emergency. If you watch you can see they are pushing trucked in dead cars and rolling them into city parking spaces.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page June 23, 2016 at 2:48 pm

Ano, I’m not sure what Google maps would show other than that the street parking is crowded, which is a fact of life all over this neighborhood, my street included. As for the firefighters, the on street parking will be full regardless of whether it is the garage or residents. And, yes, they probably are putting towed cars on the street because the lot has no real storage. Maybe the problem has gotten worse, maybe they have expanded their business, I don’t know.

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Rufus June 22, 2016 at 7:59 pm

You have the power! Cars can only park in one spot for 72 hours. Call the cops, report the “abandoned car”. 531-2000. Call every day it’s still there. Make noise! Call or email Conrad Wear ar Zapf’s office. Raise hell!!

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Christo June 22, 2016 at 8:39 pm

They rent out one of their spots at their garage to a Van dweller- complete with an extension cord to provide him power. You can see him waiting to pull in right before 5 and gone in the morning. So- they are pulling a car out and parking it on the street so they can make more money.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page June 23, 2016 at 2:50 pm

I agree with you on this one Christo. If they are doing that, then that should be reported to Code Enforcement. Take pictures and report it. Better yet, tell the business owners you plan to report it, they won’t want Code Enforcement on their property and they will probably end it themselves.

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obdave June 23, 2016 at 10:52 am

“And sometimes those vehicles sit there ā€¦ for long periods of time.” how long are these verified “long periods”???

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M June 23, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Personally, I love Eber Street Garage. I felt like I could trust them and they were honest. I once left my vehicle with them for repair just before a vacation. They said no problem. I went to pick it up and it not only had a parking ticket, but also a dead battery because a light or something had been left on. They paid the ticket (or said they would anyway!) and charged me up, but it definitely struck me as a bad business practice… Not sure where they’d get the land to park the cars, but it would be better if they could. That said, they probably mostly service OB, so there may be a redistribution of cars clustered in that area, but I doubt there are more cars overall…

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Carlos June 23, 2016 at 3:36 pm

Just report the vehicles as abandoned. They will have a field day!

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Ano June 23, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Thank you Geoff you can see the same cars are moved and moved around to the point you can see them on Google Maps over the years. When parking tickets are put on they just move them 10 feet up or to the other side. If you see similar cars over the years that is dead cards being fixed. The white BWM parked this year just keeps getting passed around. The silver BMW has been there for 1/3rd of a year dead in front of OB SMOG.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page June 23, 2016 at 5:01 pm

Ano, what you are pointing out is the major flaw in the City’s parking laws. You can park a car on the street for 72 hours and the Municipal Code says it has to be moved 1/10 of a mile after that. Now, I ask you, how long has it been, or how old does a car have to be, that an enforcement officer can look through a window and see the mileage? Today, most cars have digital displays that go off when the car is turned off. The only way to get enforcement is to have someone call parking enforcement. They come out, put a warning on the car, and mark the tires. All you really have to do is jack up the car and move the tire a little and it looks like it has been moved. Or, just have someone hold the spot, drive around the block, and repark the car. The law is toothless.

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Ano June 23, 2016 at 8:03 pm

I agree this is getting people very mad, please stand there and be patient and you will start to see why with money involved you have to live like you did the last 30 years with no say. I agree Geoff and as the camera record for evidence you will be very happy to have history to back why the city opening this investigation.

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John Loughlin June 27, 2016 at 8:25 pm

I’ve lived on Lotus St just around the corner from the Ebers St Garage for over 20 years, and they have been one of the worst neighbors you can imagine – they regularly park cars on the sidewalk, empty antifreeze into the sewer, release the compressed air system at the end of the work day in such a way as to drive the local dogs crazy and park cars for days or even weeks on Lotus St. During the day, when parking is easy, they will come along and shuffle the cars around. By the evening, when the Kaiserhof Restaurant’s clients arrive, there’s nowhere for residents to park.

One of their employees, when moving a clients vehicle, dented the side of a friend’s car. Luckily a neighbor saw it happen and ran out to speak to the employee as he made to walk off. The garage said they would pay to have the car fixed but after multiple communications from her insurance company failed to do so. Her insurance paid the claim and advised her to contact the garage directly to recover the $500 deductible. Again after multiple attempts the garage simply failed to pay. She filed a claim in small claims court and the day before the judgement the garage paid $350 – not the full amount, but enough to make it not worth going to court to claim the rest. They act as professional lowlifes.

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Debra June 28, 2016 at 3:03 pm

I only went there once, maybe 10yrs ago., around Xmas. My mechanic had worked on my car and it kept losing coolant. I couldn’t get in tough w/him because of the holiday, so I went there. Some stupid guy kept trying to sell me a NEW radiator, all because of high mileage. I kept insisting that it HAD to be something else–he barely looked in, after popping the hood. I told no thanks. Turned out I was right. It was a LOOSE clamp on one of the hoses.

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David June 28, 2016 at 9:06 am

I have lived very close to Ebers street garage for decades. What started out as a community repair shop, was sold to an outfit with a MUCH larger clientele from I believe Mira Mesa. This happened around the time that Diane’s flower shop got the boot. I’ve seen them banging cars when parallel parking, mechanics selling cars on the street that they have fixed up, mechanics storing their second vehicles on the street, the owner storing his seemingly unused truck on the street, parking client cars on the street, piling up downed palm fronds in the neighbors yard after being asked not to.

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OB John June 28, 2016 at 4:20 pm

Yup, I also live right next to Ebers Garage. Despite it being against the parking code for them to park their customers cars on the street they have been doing it every day since they took over the business. Also cars are often parked on the sidewalk in front of their driveway blocking access to the many pedestrians we have here. To their credit, I have seen the parking officers issue citations to any vehicle parked on the sidewalk but there is only so much time they can spend there and still patrol the rest of OB. Ebers Garage business practice seems to be to try and get away with whatever they can and pay the occasional fine. . In the past I reported parking violations to the head of parking code enforcement and she claimed to have spent some time watching their business and “only saw one car parked illegally” and when she confronted the owner he claimed the offending mechanic “was new and didn’t know the parking laws” No citation or fine was ever issued as far as I know. If you are a customer there just know your car is unsecured and may be left on the street for the time it’s with Ebers Garage so make sure you check for damage before taking delivery of your car.

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Ano June 29, 2016 at 7:47 am

Christopher Penman is the man from the City dealing with this ā€“ with Claim # is 230992. (Penman can be reached at 619-236-6731 Cpenman@sandiego.gov ) and he has reported on his interactions with the garage.

Eber Street Garage is apparently in violation of San Diego Municipal Code section 86.0137 ā€“ prohibition of use of streets for Storage Or Service or Sale of Vehicles or for Habitation.

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Ano July 1, 2016 at 9:03 am

https://www.sandiego.gov/mayor/staff please contact as the Mayor that is in the press about the Point Loma Development cares about Ocean Beach and to find out a business that doesn’t care about Ocean Beach because out of Ocean Beach businesses are renting Ebers Garage to perform out of Ocean Beach work should be notified to Mayor Kevin Faulconer.

Also if anyone feels they have lost money or respect in regards to Ebers Garage please call Michael Turko TURKO FILES HOTLINE 858-571-FILE (3453).

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