Homeowner to fight proposed demolition

BROADMOOR VILLAGE — The owner of a $1 million home that slid off its foundation and down a hill following heavy spring rains plans to file an injunction to halt its demolition, approved by supervisors Tuesday.

Stan Brody, owner of 606 Larchmont, was visibly upset and declined to speak about the 4-0 decision by supervisors (Supervisor Rose Jacobs Gibson was absent) to demolish the house for safety reasons. He has estimated that he stands to lose about $1 million on the home, which was in escrow when the hill collapsed and the house sank more than a dozen feet in April. Aside from the foundation, the majority of the house is intact.

“We’re going to file an injunction,” said Mike Wallace, the builder who worked on the home for Brody, as well as a neighboring house.

Wallace said an injunction, if granted by a judge, would delay 606 Larchmont’s destruction until Brody and attorney George Eshoo had time to review and respond to a new geological analysis, presented by the county Tuesday, of which they were not given a copy. The county analysis raised questions about the completeness of a geological study paid for by Brody in recent weeks that indicates the house isn’t in danger of further sliding.

Neighbors, however, said they feared the house would come down the hill during this winter’s rains. “It’s not safe for us,” said Heather Strawser, whose bedroom window at 663 Macarthur Drive lies downhill from the house.

Jerry Frayne, who lives at 609 Larchmont, and other neighbors said the house was too heavy to be restored to the top of the hill with a new and improved foundation “stitched” to the more stable interiors of the hill, as Brody suggested. “They’ve made our lives miserable for four years,” Frayne said, referring to some neighbors’ initial bid to stop the construction before it began.

Supervisor Adrienne Tissier said she could support a proposal to give Brody a continuance from the county-issued abatement order with the winter rains already beginning. “They’ve had seven months, and these plans and reports could have been done in a more timely manner,” she said.

Without an injunction, the demolition of the house could begin within two weeks, according to Lisa Grote, county planning director. The house poses a possible “threat to safety and life,” she said.

ecarpenter@examiner.com

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