My question involves real estate located in the State of: California
Adjacent to my property in San Francisco are two undeveloped lots. These lots are land-locked and can't be developed upon. (They are on a street that was never developed and instead became a public stairway).
The owner of this land is an elderly widow who didn't know the land was still hers. After she learned that the land couldn't be developed, she "simply walked away" and stopped paying property taxes -- over 20 years ago. Although the properties are in default, she is still the owner on record. When she found out the land is still her's, she said she adamantly wants to donate it to the city's Parks and Recreation department to be protected as open space.
More recently (8 months ago) a real estate developer paid off all the back taxes and installed a fence that blocks the public from entering the property. He bluntly confirms that he's trying to acquire the land through adverse possession.
My questions are... what can be done to prevent this developer from acquiring the land? And how can I help the current owner do this?