SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Landlord Dario Pini, who was taken to court last year by the City of Santa Barbara, has worked out a settlement over issues related to alleged code violations.
Pini will pay a fine of $35,000. He has also agreed to have a special court ordered supervisor keep tabs on his rental properties to make sure they are safe for the tenants.
The city and Pini have been at odds over the years about code enforcement matters.
Pini says many of the complaints raised last year were resolved within just a few weeks.
Many of the homes and apartments rented by Pini are home to some of the lowest income residents in the city, and Pini says without his properties they might be in the city shelters or sleeping in their cars.
Pini has approximately 100 rental properties in Santa Barbara.
Earlier this year, Pini was arrested for allegedly burglarizing a property that was being demolished. The complaint was initiated by a resident nearby but Pini was never found to be in possession of any items from the site.
When the matter came to court, a Superior Court judge said there was virtually "no likelihood," that the District Attorney's office could prove the case.
The matter was reduced to an infraction with a fine of $75.00.
Pini is currently remodeling a downtown hotel on State Street that he says will be very welcoming to visitors.
This is the city's official press release on this matter :
SANTA BARBARA, CA – July 30, 2013
The City of Santa Barbara and local landlord Dario Pini have settled a code enforcement lawsuit that the City filed against Pini in November 2012. The Superior Court ordered supervision of the operation and maintenance of all real properties owned by Mr. Pini within the City through a court-appointed "Special Master" who will act on behalf of the court. Mr. Pini was also ordered to pay $35,000 in civil penalties to the City of Santa Barbara.
The duration of the judgment and its accompanying terms is for an initial period of five years. The Special Master will have the authority to require regular meetings between the City's Code Enforcement staff, the City Attorney's office, Mr. Pini and his property managers to review the operation and proper maintenance of all Pini properties within the City. The Special Master can also recommend that the court impose additional civil penalties if it is determined that any of Pini's dwelling units or buildings are not being properly maintained or there are any new violations of the Municipal Code or the state Uniform Construction Codes. It is estimated that Mr. Pini owns approximately 100 residential and commercial properties in Santa Barbara.
The Superior Court has appointed Stanley M. Roden as the Special Master. Mr. Roden has been a member of the State Bar since 1966, is a mediator with the Santa Barbara Superior Court administered Dispute Resolution Program, and served as the elected District Attorney for Santa Barbara County from 1975 to 1982.