40 Years and Counting: Atherton Home Still Under Construction

Atherton residents are demanding answers for a home that has been under construction for the last 40 years.

City officials are also now getting involved because they say the building is not up to code and the owners do not have the right permits or plans.

Atherton Police Commander Joe Wade said the permit for the building was first issued in 1978 for a man who wanted to build a new family home.

An Atherton City Council staff report shows the permit was issued on Feb. 3, 1978. The report also said "construction work happened slowly, with inspections taking place sporadically and intermittently."

In 2014, the city's code enforcement department got involved and now the police department in in charge of enforcing the codes.

"Over the years we just started receiving complaints about the home," Wade said.

Neighbors reportedly started complaining about dead trees, trash and other construction debris in the area.

The owner died two years ago and the city said his family took over and cleaned up the property. But the city argues the family needs to decide once and for all whether they are going to finish building the house or demolish it.

NBC Bay Area was unable to reach the late owner's family members to ask them their plans for the property on 37 Walsh Road.

The owner's daughter wrote an e-mail to the city council in July, saying in part "for whatever reason, instead of building small my father decided to build this larger structure all on his own. Also, for whatever reason my father didn't finish the home. Only he and God knows why."

Also in the e-mail, the daughter said they would like demolition to be their last resort, but they need more time to bring in the right people and see what can and cannot be done with the property.

Meanwhile, the code enforcement officer will present his case to council members at a meeting Wednesday night.

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