Woodside: Mansion owner appeals to council on plans for Mountain Home Road

An appeal was filed this week in Woodside Town Hall asking the Town Council to decide on the future of a partially demolished mansion at 360 Mountain Home Road.

Should the council accept the owner's explanation that mistakes were made as to the extent of demolition for what was called a remodeling project, and allow the property owner to amend the plan so that the project can proceed? Or should the owner have to go back to square one and submit new plans that recognize the project as a demolition of the 7,423-square-foot mansion?

The seven-member Planning Commission met on July 31 to answer these questions and tied in 3-3 votes on two resolutions that would have resolved the matter. Commissioner Aydan Kutay was absent, but sent letters in support of accepting the amended plan.

Palo Alto attorney John Hanna, representing the mansion's owner, filed the appeal Aug. 4, noting Ms. Kutay's support. Town documents identify the owner as SV Projects LLC at the Palo Alto address of Hanna & Van Atta, Mr. Hanna's law firm.

The council meets twice in September. "We are not sure when it will be heard, but it will likely be one of the September meetings," Senior Planner Sage Schaan told the Almanac.

Town inspectors visited 360 Mountain Home Road in mid-May and saw the second and third floors and roof of the main house sitting elevated on steel beams above an empty space where the basement, first floor and first-floor framing used to be. Permission had been given to elevate the house, but for the purpose of removing the basement only, not the first floor or its framing.

Planning Director Jackie Young issued a stop-work order on July 3, a day after the Planning Commission recommended, on a 6-1 vote, that she send the project back to the Architectural and Site Review Board.

With exceptions allowed to make the work site safe, the stop-work order remains in effect.


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