Thursday, December 1, 2011

Woodside - "Home sweet home" without town permits

Don't comply with permits, after the lawsuit no problem!

Mercury News/Bonnie Eslinger, 12/1/11.  Woodside has sued a resident it claims built a two-story building on his property without permits and wants him to remove it if he doesn't obtain the necessary paperwork.  According to its Nov. 9 complaint for injunctive relief and abatement of a public nuisance, the town first became aware that Gregory Smith was building a structure on his property at 37 Upenuf Road in or around August 2008. "The Town Inspector observed that a two-story building was being constructed without the necessary permits," the suit states, adding that utilities
were also being installed.

On Aug. 14, 2008, the town's planning and building department sent Smith a stop-work notice asking him to immediately halt construction and contact staff to discuss the matter. When he didn't, it sent a second notice on Aug. 26 that was also ignored, according to the complaint. The town followed up by sending a formal code violation notice on Oct. 22, 2008. Smith told The Daily News on Wednesday that he has been trying to resolve the permit dispute and the town never informed him it would be taking him to court. "I've been working with the town for three years on this issue," Smith said. "If the town has filed a lawsuit against me, I'm completely unaware of it and a little surprised." The building is a 24-foot by 24-foot garage with an in-law unit on top, Smith said. He declined to explain why he did not obtain the necessary permits for the project, The town's legal move is "ludicrous," said Smith, the chief financial officer for a high-tech company called Pogoplug.saying he wants to first review the lawsuit with a lawyer.

According to county records, the Upenuf Road property that Smith and his wife own has a net assessed value of more than $1.3 million. There's also a 4,700-square-foot home with five bedrooms on the 174,240-square-foot lot, according to the real estate website The expansive, woodsy lot is located off Old La Honda Road. It is not known why the town waited more than three years to take legal action. Assistant Town Manager Kevin Bryant said the town's policy is to not comment on pending litigation. If Smith does not bring his garage-and-apartment unit up to code and obtain a building and site development permit, the complaint asks the court to order him to remove the building, "returning the Property to its pre-construction condition and calling for a final inspection of this corrective work." The town also asks to be reimbursed for attorney fees and awarded a civil penalty of up to $5,000."

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...

Could this happen in Pacifica? Well,it's more like happen to who?

Anonymous said...

Is it really that hard for people to come up with coherent sentences?

Anonymous said...

Did this guy learn the "no permit trick" from Jim Vreeland?

Anonymous said...

This is outrageous. We can't have a lowly private citizen usurping the rights and privileges that we in Pacifica know belong only to James the Lord Vreeland. Common riffraff. Sack Woodside!

Anonymous said...

anon114AM Way too much hoity in your toity. Lose the crown and scepter and wipe the barnyard muck off your shoes.