Unable to prevent a family in their neighborhood from renovating their house in a likeness of Carl Fredricksen’s in Up by appealing to city officials, some folks in Santa Clara, California, are just coincidentally suing the family for contaminating the neighborhood with lead during their renovation efforts.
Homes in the historical neighborhood in question don’t have to seek permission to paint, but renovations require approval. That approval happens at a meeting with the Historical & Landmarks Commission,
where neighbors within 300 feet of the home are given an opportunity to voice their opinions on how the changes will affect the neighborhood. However, in the case of the “Up” home, the family never took that step, and instead went straight to the city’s planning department, where they got the project approved and permits issued without consulting the commission.
It’s unclear why the city didn’t inform them of the extra hurdle to clear, but now that neighbors have brought the mistake to their attention (some with lawsuits of their own), the council is rewriting related ordinance about house color in preserved homes in the area, and promises to inspect the family’s renovations once complete in order to determine whether they’ve preserved the historical significance of the building. According to neighbors interviewed by Yahoo, the place was “in pretty poor condition” when Hosam Haggog and Fatima Rahman moved in with their toddler daughters.
Of course, the city hasn’t put a stop to their renovations or ordered them to repaint the house, so it still maintains its bold palette of green, yellow, orange, and pink. One neighbor, Sarah Doty, is now suing them for contaminating her house and yard with lead, saying that lead levels “thousands of times above the legal limit” were found on her property by the federal government and the California Department of Health. Haggog and Rahman’s lawyer has denied the allegations. The couple chose the renovations and color changes because of their family’s love of the movie Up, telling local news, “We’re not trying to create controversy. We’re trying to build a home for our daughters and our family. And that’s what our intention was.”
(via Death and Taxes.)