Tech

Mark Zuckerberg Keeps Pissing Off His Neighbors

“I’m sure you all agree that it can be cumbersome living next to Zuck.”

David Ramos / Getty Images

Neighbors near Mark Zuckerberg’s $10 million San Francisco pied-à-terre say the billionaire’s security detail is parking illegally, and have circulated a letter — obtained by BuzzFeed News — urging residents to report the vehicles to the local parking authority.

Nitasha Tiku

The letter was distributed this weekend to some residents of Liberty Hill, a neighborhood adjacent to Dolores Park. It claims that Zuckerberg’s security team has two silver SUVs “permanently” and “illegally” occupying “desirable parking spots” in the area. It urges neighbors to complain to the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) and to contact Tim Wenzel, Zuckerberg’s “residential security manager.” The letter provides Wenzel’s corporate email address with Facebook as well as a mobile number.

A spokesperson for Zuckerberg told BuzzFeed News: “The security team’s cars are parked in accordance with local parking laws. The team strives to be sensitive to neighbors’ concerns and regrets any inconvenience.”

The note (embedded above and reprinted in full below) begins by describing the burden of living near a billionaire, and referencing the project’s years-long construction process. (San Francisco city records show 16 building permits for alterations to the property since the deed changed hands in 2012).

“I’m sure you all agree that it can be cumbersome living next to Zuck. I think we’ve all tried to be as patient and civil as possible during the very long construction, the noise, the trash, the blocking of streets, etc. Now that all that circus is done, we are left with 2 silver SUV’s permanently occupying desirable parking spots. It goes without saying that living close to Dolores Park and the awesome neighboring districts already creates a challenge when it comes to street parking, so the 2 spots that are illegally being held for Zuck only makes matters worse.”

The author or authors of the letter claim to have spoken with Zuckerberg’s security guards. The guards allegedly admitted that the SUVs were parked illegally — and pointed out that parking illegally doesn’t necessarily offer Zuckerberg better security.

“We’ve spoken to the security guards and they were cordial but ultimately have been instructed by their supervisors to not move the cars under any circumstances. They acknowledge that they are occupying the space with no turnover and illegally. … One of the guards mentioned that she agreed that even from a security standpoint, where the cars are parked don’t give the best vantage points and that she thinks they should be driving around and having a guard posted on both sides of [the street]. All and all, none of this makes any sense.”


Nitasha Tiku / BuzzFeed


This wouldn’t be the first scuffle between Zuckerberg and his neighbors. In 2014, locals complained to the press that the billionaire was tearing up the neighborhood with renovation construction and paying people to sit in parked cars overnight in order to save the spots for construction vehicles. Then, last summer, the local blog Capp Street Crap reported that Zuckerberg’s security detail filed a temporary restraining order against a 62-year-old local man, allegedly leaving him homeless, although the exact version of those events are in dispute.

The letter argues that Zuckerberg’s security guards could park in or in front of his driveway without incident, and argues that by refusing to do so, Zuckerberg’s detail has caused a chain reaction of illegal parking.

A source familiar with Zuckerberg’s security detail told BuzzFeed News that the two SUVs were parked on separate blocks in accordance with local parking requirements. The source claimed that parking in Zuckerberg’s driveway would violate parking rules because the car would block the sidewalk.

During a visit to Zuckerberg’s home earlier this week, two security guards were taking up two parking spots with their sliver SUVs. The guards, both pleasant middle-aged men, directed all inquires to Wenzel. One was using his foot to measure the length of his SUV to see if it would fit in a garage, he said. The other guard said that Zuckerberg’s security team was aware of the complaints and “very attuned to the needs of the neighbors.”

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Wenzel and the SFMTA about the neighborhood note but did not receive a response from either. In the meantime, the letter’s author has taken to Twitter, Facebook, and Nextdoor, a private social networking app designed to function like a digital neighborhood watch, in order to “raise visibility to this issue.”

“We’ve already spoken to both guards currently on duty, they spoke to their offsite supervisor and I’ve also called [sic] left a message Tim Wenzel (he has yet to call back), the “Residential Security Manager” for Zuck’s … home. We’ve also taken pictures of both cars and posted it on SFMTA’s twitter page, along with the local news stations Twitter accounts, our personal facebook accounts and have also created an account and shared this on Nextdoor.”

BuzzFeed received this screenshot of a conversation that allegedly took place on Nextdoor on Jan. 10 where at least one neighbor expressed a warmer sentiment toward Zuckerberg’s security detail. A representative for Nextdoor told BuzzFeed that the social network could not verify the authenticity of the conversation because Nextdoor “does not monitor any of the content” and cannot make an inquiry “without a member’s consent.” Multiple requests to contact the poster were not returned.

In the screenshot, the resident says both he and his dog consider the billionaire an excellent addition to the neighborhood. “I think having the guards is a gigantic plus. I think having Zuck as a neighbor is a gigantic plus. The guards are a plus. My dog Oscar Wild thinks they are great.”

Nitasha Tiku / BuzzFeed


Here is the full text of the letter:

Hi Neighbors,

I’m sure you all agree that it can be cumbersome living next to Zuck. I think we’ve all tried to be as patient and civil as possible during the very long construction, the noise, the trash, the blocking of streets, etc. Now that all that circus is done, we are left with 2 silver SUV’s permanently occupying desirable parking spots. It goes without saying that living close to Dolores Park and the awesome neighboring districts already creates a challenge when it comes to street parking, so the 2 spots that are illegally being held for Zuck only makes matters worse. We’ve spoken to the security guards and they were cordial but ultimately have been instructed by their supervisors to not move the cars under any circumstances. They acknowledge that they are occupying the space with no turnover and illegally. So, on weekends such as this, I have to park illegally in front of the apartment that I live in full-time and risk the chance of getting an expensive ticket by MTA. Can you all help me raise visibility to this issue? We’ve already spoken to both guards currently on duty, they spoke to their offsite supervisor and I’ve also called [sic] left a message Tim Wenzel (he has yet to call back), the “Residential Security Manager” for Zuck’s … home. We’ve also taken pictures of both cars and posted it on SFMTA’s twitter page, along with the local news stations Twitter accounts, our personal facebook accounts and have also created an account and shared this on Nextdoor.

I want to add that Zuck’s guards could park in his driveway or in front of his driveway with no issue but refuse to do so as that is not what they are instructed to do. One of the guards mentioned that she agreed that even from a security standpoint, where the cars are parked don’t give the best vantage points and that she thinks they should be driving around and having a guard posted on both sides of [the street]. All and all, none of this makes any sense. SFMTA requires ALL cars to be moved after 72 hours’ time, and in all residential areas, if cars don’t have parking permits (which currently the guards do not have) and they need to be moved every 2 hours (M-F) within the listed time. When they do move the car is [sic] has to be at least a block away, ensuring turnover. Clearly, none of this is happening.

And, although I do feel bad for the guards when it gets cold or hot, they tend to leave their car engines on day and night which is wasteful and horrible for the environment not to mention noisy in an otherwise quiet neighborhood.

Please report this issue to SFMTA by calling 415-553-1200 (Press 1 for English) (Press option 6 for illegal parking) or tweeting them @SFMTA_MUNI

Also, please contact:
Tim Wenzel (Residential Security Manager)
mobile- [REDACTED]
email: tjwenzel@fb.com

I think if enough people contact them a permanent solution will surely follow. Thank you in advance for any help.

Your neighbors in [REDACTED]




















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Nitasha Tiku is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.
Contact Nitasha Tiku at nitasha.tiku@buzzfeed.com.
 
 

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