SLO City orders PB Companies to tear down project
October 5, 2015
By KAREN VELIE
The City of San Luis Obispo has shut down a construction project by PB Companies, a finance and investment firm. On Sept. 30, San Luis Obispo Assistant City Attorney Jon Ansolabehere sent a certified letter to Belsher informing him that Petetit’s permits for a construction project on San Carlos Drive are “null and void” and that all un-permitted improvements need to be removed within 30 days.
“Please consider this letter your 30-day notice to remove all un-permitted work from 1179 San Carlos,” the letter says. “If such improvements are not removed within 30 days, the city will enter the property and remove the improvements at your client’s expense.”
John Belsher, 61, and Ryan Petetit, 28, principals of PB Companies, are involved in more than a dozen proposed projects including a 26 unit housing development in Templeton dubbed Oak Knoll Creek and a large mixed use development on Tank Farm Road in San Luis Obispo, both of which have buildings in vertical construction. Nevertheless, after three years of doing business together as PB Companies, Belsher and Petetit have yet to finish construction of any of its residential or commercial structures.
PB Companies is a private finance and investment firm which “creates investment solutions and equity plays in the real estate and business world,” according to its website. Belsher and Petetit have secured money from banks, hard money lenders and private investors to fund their proposed developments, according to county records
Petetit purchased the San Carlos Drive home in 2011 with monies from several sources including investors in PB Companies projects. Several investors were told the home would be remodeled and sold at which time they would get their money back.
After Petetit demolished the home in 2014, investors filed three foreclosures on the property for approximately $200,000, according to property records. Shortly before the property was to be sold at auction, the loans were paid.
Following the demolition, the city slapped Petetit with multiple notices of violation and then on Oct. 14, 2014, the city filed a claim for injunctive relief because of Petetit’s repeated code violations and because the property had become a public nuisance, according to court documents.
Multiple neighbors of the property have asked the SLO City Council to force Petetit to clean up the property.
In Nov. 2014, the city entered into an agreement with Petetit in which the city agreed to lower his fines from $14,700 to $1,500, and Petetit agreed to diligently pursue construction of the residence, according to the contract.
Petetit then failed to begin construction and the city negotiated another deal with Belsher to give Petetit another chance to build his home.
In July, Petetit agreed to pay $13,200 in deferred fines, hire a dedicated construction manager and diligently proceed with construction, according to an email from City Attorney Christine Dietrick.
In the city’s Sept. 30 letter to Belsher, the city revoked the permits because Petetit failed to begin framing the proposed structure.
“As you can see, no framing has begun and frankly, the site is a mess,” Ansolabehere writes in his letter. “We note that over this last weekend, your client caused a portion of the slab foundation to be removed. That work was also not permitted.”
In the past few years, the partners have been in court over multiple financial controversies such as breach of contract and not paying fines for building violations.
On Tuesday, the court is slated to hear an appeal by Belsher of a small claims case in which a web designer was awarded approximately $6,200. The designer had filed and won a claim against PB Companies for breach of contract after the company failed to pay him for developing its website and designing several logos for the company.
In addition to multiple civil actions, Petetit has been charged with five misdemeanors since co-founding PB Companies, two over writing bad checks.
On Thursday, Petetit is scheduled for a motion hearing in San Luis Obispo County Superior Courtroom nine regarding a 2012 arrest for public intoxication and resisting a peace officer.