SLO City orders PB Companies to tear down project

October 5, 2015
John Belsher and Ryan Petetit

John Belsher and Ryan Petetit


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.

A recent photo of 1179 San Carlos Drive.

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.



  1. WhiteSquall says:

    Does anyone know who the law firm was that sued the County for not doing their job in Morro Bay? I can’t figure out how the leader of our church was able to build a granny-unit over 2500 sq ft and nobody caught it. Why should anyone follow the rules if all you have to do is use our leader’s words “Don’t ask the County for permission, you need only ask for forgiveness and pay the small fines!”

    Why not build tracks of homes and do as our church elders say? All you need to do is ask for forgiveness each time you cheat on our building projects. To date our minister has not been caught and only pays $1500 a year on a $700,000 house!

    (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
    • WhiteSquall says:

      If anyone knows the law firm that sued San Luis Obispo Code Enforcement I would like their number because the neighbor who accuses everyone else of “leaving their trash cans out”, “cars on the road” and “loud music” has three illegal garage-conversion rentals and I need help getting her to vacate these dwellings. If someone is big enough to accuse people of “loud dogs”, “boats on the driveway” and “trash cans left till 12:00 Noon” (trash men show up at 7:00 AM) I would love to have the County investigate her illegal dwellings.

      Also what is the School Fees and taxes on her three dwellings, she’s only showing 800 sq ft and the builder loaned me a set of plans showing 3000 sq ft. Thank’s for helping keep Morro Bay Clean, if these people want to play “Call the County”, let’s return the favor to her!

      (0) 0 Total Votes - 0 up - 0 down
  2. hijinks2 says:

    Based upon these articles, staff at Rick Engineering and the word in the community these guys are running a scam. If this is the same guy who ran a company called DVR then the lawsuit from the guy at Rick Engineering says it all.

    If anyone can realize why the City keeps cutting them deals, or slack they are blind. City staffers have their hands in the pockets of so many developers it is a joke. Public works inspectors have taken bribes and elicited bribes for decades and everyone in the trades knows it. So, why would building staff and planning staff be any different. These scams existed in Santa Barbara and in Capitola. If you know who to pay you can build anything.

    (22) 32 Total Votes - 27 up - 5 down
    • Anodyne says:

      “Based upon these articles, staff at Rick Engineering and the word in the community these guys are running a scam. If this is the same guy who ran a company called DVR then the lawsuit from the guy at Rick Engineering says it all.”

      Can you elaborate on this?

      (3) 3 Total Votes - 3 up - 0 down
  3. justbeware says:

    I’m so curious as to whom at the city has the power, or makes the call to forgive $13,200 in fines in Nov 2014? Do other developers receive the same pass, or was this something special just for PB?
    Speaking of fines, has Petetit paid the $13,200 in fines he agreed to in July? It seems as though many promises are made by this duo, yet not many are kept.

    (39) 41 Total Votes - 40 up - 1 down
    • October says:

      Yes, others do get similar treatment when it comes to fines, not just land developers but also your run-of-the-mill property owners in violation of code. It’s kind of like settling a lawsuit. Some money is better than no money. Unfortunately, in this case it looks like it will end up being no money, and could end up costing the city (i.e. taxpayers) if they can’t recoup the costs of cleaning up the site.

      (17) 17 Total Votes - 17 up - 0 down
  4. MaryMalone says:

    How much longer is SLO City going to do the bend-and-spread-em two-step for these clowns?

    They’ve made it quite clear that they are going to make promises they never intend to fulfill and have made existing citizens have to live with their “war-zone” mess of a residence where ground was broken but work never done.

    Enough is enough. Send them packing before this situation gets any worse.

    (41) 57 Total Votes - 49 up - 8 down
  5. surferdude says:

    Why is anyone trusting Mr. Petetit?
    This is a punk kid from A.G. ( class of 2004) with absolutely nothing to lose.

    This team also owns the famous Foster Freeze redevelopment. Ha!
    Notice how that is just sitting!!!

    If I lived next door to that mess; I would be at his doorstep!

    (42) 54 Total Votes - 48 up - 6 down
  6. kayaknut says:

    They sound like the prefect type of people to go into a deal with the city to build their bowling alley. They will fit right in with most of the SLO city Council. Maybe Mayor Marx will invite them to Thanksgiving dinner.

    (32) 56 Total Votes - 44 up - 12 down
  7. Pelican1 says:

    The city giveth….and the city taketh away….

    (3) 19 Total Votes - 11 up - 8 down
  8. Vagabond says:

    One born every minute

    (13) 21 Total Votes - 17 up - 4 down
  9. TacomaRose says:

    So Sad …. Maybe Belsher & Petetit borrowed Kelly Gearhart’s playbook.

    (49) 53 Total Votes - 51 up - 2 down
    • BeenThereDoneThat says:

      EXACTLY!!! The feds should look at. My guess (like Kelly) they are taking funds financed on one project, to build another and hopefully the other finishes, so they then can take profits and finish the others. Oh and in meantime they live lavishly on the extra money of investors while saying, it is construction delays.

      Bonita homes in Paso almost got caught (couldn’t prove) on the one’s behind Wal-Mart. They where suspected of moving funds between three projects. Paso, Lancaster and another I forget. ALL ILLEGAL!!! Sounds same here.

      (35) 43 Total Votes - 39 up - 4 down
      • laftch says:

        This is typical practice of developer contractors.

        (4) 30 Total Votes - 17 up - 13 down
    • achillesheal says:

      At least his buildings were built. That property looks like its in the middle of a war zone.

      (16) 30 Total Votes - 23 up - 7 down

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