Owner losing grip on fight for home 

Homeowner Stan Brody stormed out of a San Mateo County courtroom Wednesday, calling county officials "untrustworthy" after a Superior Court judge upheld a county decision to demolish his Daly City property.

Brody and his attorney, George Eshoo, now have until Jan. 17 to request a stay on the decision as they appeal to the 1st District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

Brody’s house at 606 Larchmont Drive sunk approximately 25 feet and slid about 10 feet to the west during a mudslide after heavy rains drenched the Peninsula in April. The slide displaced part of the hillside that Brody’s house is on and threatened homes below it on MacArthur Drive, in the county’s enclave within Daly City.

A Burlingame mortgage broker who was previously the financier of the project, Brody also owns the homes at 604 and 608 Larchmont, but their foundations were not damaged during last winter’s storms.

In November 2006, the Board of Supervisors voted to demolish the $1 million home for safety reasons. Approved in 2005, the three-story home was still under construction when it slid, and neighbors never felt that the land could support a house.

On Wednesday, Judge Quentin Kopp ruled against Brody because he failed to file an appeal in October. He also said, against claims from Eshoo, the Board of Supervisors made the decision in November to destroy the home based on sufficient evidence and gave Brody a chance to present his case.

"Those people are untrustworthy," Brody said, gesturing toward the county’s side as he left the courtroom.

The county will now take steps to finalize a contract with a demolition company for the Board of Supervisors to approve Jan. 23.

"The expectation is then [606 Larchmont] would be destroyed as soon as possible," Deputy County Counsel David Silberman said.

Brody has been upset that the state and county failed to notify him after it was discovered that a fraudulent geotechnical engineer, Zuhayr Toufic Nizam-Aldine, was used to inspect the land and conduct soil reports prior to building. The reports produced by the firm were approved by the county.

"The county did its best to work with Mr. Brody and give him an opportunity over, now, nine months to remedy a nuisance on his property. Despite all of that time, he failed to do so," Silberman said in response to Brody’s claims of being "untrustworthy."

Lawrence Sussman, an attorney representing families along MacArthur Drive, said that his clients continue to be concerned about their safety and property because the wet weather is on its way.

dsmith@examiner.com

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