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Wednesday, January 12, 2022

Mayor Bauters Slams Developer For Illegal Demolition, City Levies Fines

Unprecedented in Emeryville: City Levies Fines on Housing Developer

Mayor Calls Developer's Actions a "Charade" 

Developer Says "Mayor Has it Out For Me"

The Emeryville City Council, long known for their obsequious fawning over real estate developers, finally met a developer they cannot countenance.  Vallejo resident Aquis Bryant, a self described entrepreneur and ‘house flipper’ was given a sharp rebuke and a quintuple building permit fine at the December 21st City Council meeting after Mayor John Bauters called out the small time developer for illegally tearing down his four plex apartment building at 1271 64th Street and a Christmas time eviction of the prior tenets there.  The illegal demolition was acknowledged but the eviction charge is refuted by Mr Bryant.

A major point of contention flared at the December 21st meeting whether the applicant, Mr Bryant (no relation to Emeryville City Planner Charlie Bryant) evicted his low income ‘section eight’ tenants in order to do work on the building approved in 2016, a point alleged by Mayor Bauters.  Mr Bryant told the Tattler the Mayor’s eviction allegations are untrue and that he simply asked his tenants if they were willing to be “bought out” or paid money to leave, to which they agreed and were paid.  He called the eviction charge “false”. 

Property owner and developer at 1271 64th St
Aquis Bryant

The 2016 building permit Mr Bryant had received was a conditional use permit to renovate his building by adding an additional floor to increase the size of two of the existing four units from two to three bedrooms.  The tenants at the building all vacated the premise prior to the beginning of work and the building contractor hired by Mr Bryant proceeded to demolished the entire structure, explicitly not permitted by the City of Emeryville.  A Stop Work Order was subsequently issued and a Notice of Violation sent out by the City.  Mr Bryant then applied for an after the fact demolition permit as well as permission to rebuild the entire building according to the new plans, both of which were approved by the Planning Commission in October of 2021.  

The Mayor’s short temper at the December meeting was attributed to the fact that he (Mr Bauters) was a Planning Commissioner in 2016 as it turns out and had been privy to the ‘no demolition’ first iteration of the 64th Street project application.  The mayor, clearly angered at the applicant for the unapproved demolition, expressed that he had heard about the tenants’ removal after the 2016 Planning Commission building renovation approval.  For his part, Mr Bryant says his contractor demolished the building without his permission. 

The City Council in December ultimately approved the new construction however, invoking the Municipal Code, they levied a ‘five times’ building permit fine owing to the fact that Mr Bryant had partaken in construction (demolition actually) without a required permit, for a total fine/fee of $64,135 (five times added to the original $10,241) .  The Council also added a provision the applicant pay for a special inspection of the final height of the building to make sure it is in compliance.  To all this, Mayor Bauters said, “Maybe this will be an incentive to have the applicant be a more responsible home flipper in our community which is not interested in continuing in a charade like this.”  

Mr Bryant who after telling the Tattler “The Mayor has it out for me”, said he would pay the fines, “What else can I do?” he asked.

Mayor John Bauters
On the Planning Commission in 2016, he was assured
this developer would not demolish the building.


  1. John Bauters wasn't on the Planning Commission. He was on the Housing Committee.
    I do remember hearing about this project a while back. Thank you for the update.

    1. Actually, Mr Bauters has been on both the Planning Commission and the Housing Committee over the years.

  2. Thanks to John Bauters for this. We should not reward people who so obviously skirt the rules.

    1. Its easy to be anonymous, the behind the scene bad mouth.
      I did not skirt any rules, all I did was asking questions
      about the death of NOVARTIS security guard Michael Smela a
      father of three run over killed by elected officials D.U.I. Kenneth Bukowski. An admittedly a narcotic user mater of facts.
      The City annihilated my real estate assets in retaliation
      from my inquiry for the orchestrated the cover up for Kenneth BuKowski to be scot free getting away with murder benefiting from the privilege of afforded to elected officials. The City paid $ 1,5 million to the widow of Michael Smela in admission of guilt over his death. The City did not annihilate Kenneth Bukowski or seize his real
      estate assets to pay for his crime. All I did was working
      in my home and on my engineering projects in my backyard.
      It is not know if Kenneth Bukowski ever worked in his life

      Andre' Carpiaux