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Friday, April 4, 2008

Two, Two, Two Houses In One

The neighbors find more reasons than there are trees to hate the house you're building in Mill Valley—any house. In the case of this pricey new Sycamore Park listing (a just-completed $3.395 million Dutch Colonial-style home at 111 Locust Ave.), the offending feature was a detached, two-story building with a rental unit in the backyard.

A one-story garage would have been fine. But a two-story rental cottage would "tower over our rental cottage," one neighbor wrote in an email message to the city planning department. That was just the beginning.

The owners went to city hall to make an impassioned speech about the house. And about how their family was looking forward to living in the neighborhood. As for that two-story garage/apartment? A perfect place to house grandparents.

With the wisdom of Solomon, the planning commission ruled that a slightly shorter version of the garage could be built. It also asked the owners to investigate whether "prehistoric resources" were buried on the property. (They weren't, according to an archaeological survey.) And finally, it asked the owners to paint the trim a tasteful color. (The city approved linen white.)

We don't know which of these requirements, if any, put the owners over the edge. But they decided to leave the neighborhood after all. Which is why this lovely house is on the market.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There was actually a lot more to this than what you wrote. Suggest you talk to the neighbors next time.