The owner of a mansion in Woodside purchased two years ago for a record-breaking $117.5 million has been ordered to stop remodeling work after the town realized that more of the structure was removed than permitted.
Tonight, the town's planning commission is scheduled to consider whether to allow the work to continue, through a revised site design permit.
The sale of the 8.74-acre estate at 360 Mountain Home Road was widely reported in the media as the country's highest that year. The three-story mansion, built in 2005, has four bedrooms, five bathrooms, a four-car garage, a swimming pool and a pool house. The name of the buyer was not publicly disclosed, but a Los Angeles Times story last year said unnamed sources claim it is SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. The named owner on Woodside documents is listed as "SV Projects LLC."
Previously approved entitlements gave the owner permission to build one-story additions on each side of the main residence to provide separate his- and-hers restrooms and to expand the front entry, according to Woodside Planning Director Jackie Young.
The town also had approved plans to enlarge the basement for storage and "mechanical equipment," and to build an addition to the pool house with space for entertainment, a changing room and restroom facilities.
But when staff planners inspected the site May 19, they found that "the entire first floor of the main residence was demolished," with the second and third floors of the building shored up with metal construction beams, according to a staff memo.
That exceeded the submitted proposal for a "simple remodel, recladding and small additions," according to a draft resolution prepared in case the planning commission denies the revised permit.
"The removal of the first floor framing tipped the project into the realm of being reasonably considered a demolition of the existing residence," the resolution states.
Reached by phone Wednesday, the applicant's attorney, John Hanna, and project contractor, Noel Manerud, said they -- like all consultants on the project -- had signed confidentiality agreements and couldn't discuss the project.
Instead, Manerud forwarded documents they submitted to the town Wednesday to "correct inaccuracies" in the staff report and the associated draft resolutions, he wrote in an email.
The documents state that the applicant told staff "the removal of the additional first floor framing was done for safety reasons based on recommendations from the applicant's structural engineer," and that some of the first-floor demolition was within the scope of a demolition permit granted to expand the basement.
Since the July 2 stop-work order, which is still in place, the applicant has submitted a revised proposal that includes the demolition of the first floor and portions of the second-floor exterior walls. It also adds a kitchen, two half-baths, a den, recreation room, sunken patio and bowling alley to the basement, Young said.