Overdue plumbing and electrical updates at center of 215 Bath Street”renovictions” dispute

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The apartment buildings at 215 Bath Street may look like a renovated hotel because they used to be a hotel.

Some of the water and electrical installations date back to this time decades ago.

But the renovations have brought concerns about the so-called “renovations” back into focus.

Property manager James Peter Knapp, who works for the Koto Group, is due in court next month to answer misdemeanor charges.

Knapp is accused of terminating the tenancy without reason, of failing to comply with eviction notices for valid reasons and of failing to provide a copy of the permits.

The remaining dozen have a message for the owners.

“I would tell the owners that we have a great community here. We don't want them to make it nicer, we just don't want to get kicked out,” Mike Aracic said.

“They have been on the property many times and have not greeted us once,” said Corina Svanica. “We are workers who work for local businesses and we want to work with the owners, address safety concerns and have a nice place to live.”

Carmen Anguianos said she lived in her Bath Street apartment twice.

She moved to Maui and rented the same apartment when she returned.

She said she doesn't always feel safe when construction workers come and go.1

Other residents fear that new water and electricity lines will lead to higher rents.

When renovations began, residents said 215 Bath's website specifically targeted college students.

Santa Barbara City College is nearby.

The property owner and manager could not be reached for comment for this report, but in letters to the city, their attorney defended their actions, arguing that measures must be taken to prevent fires on the property.

Some people in the construction industry, including Louie Mena of Do It All Home Improvement, believe the Just Cause Ordinance and its construction scheduling requirements are inconsistent with safety.

Residents said most of them pay about $2,000 a month for their studio.

They said that although this was more than a third of their income, it was less than what they would pay in the area, where there are hardly any rental apartments.

You will get further reaction to the Bath Street property on your news channel tonight.

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