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Monte Sereno Building Permit Nightmare

Click here for information on Monte Sereno real estate, homes for sale, market trends & statisticsIn the spring of 2009 had the pleasure of listing and selling a stunningly beautiful Monte Sereno home. This house had been on the market the year before,Please continue reading on the new home of Live in Los Gatos

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RE: Monte Sereno Building Permit Nightmare

Posted by: Vicki Lloyd
Date: Mar. 22, 2009

Wow Mary! 

What an adventure in real estate!  That's great that the original builder was able to help you out in solving this problem - he is a hero, but I think you were also a hero to even think of tracking him down to help.



RE: Monte Sereno Building Permit Nightmare

Posted by: Anon
Date: Jun. 1, 2009

A few years  (3 0r 4)  back the MS offered its residents to get copies of all permits on their property for free . My friends who live in Town requested so. They  were  not able to get copies of anything beyond the past 7 years ,They  was told by Eileen Admin Asst  if no one is complaining not to worry . Interestingly  one of their  project was completed and Howard Bell signed it off however my friends  received a phone message 1 year later from a City Engineer  inquiring the progress on this project. When told it was finalled , the City Engineer's comment was Howard may have mis filed. it so dont worry about it.

Your article is an eye opener what to expect if both these fine gentleman still continue to keep their jobs 

The court issue needles to say is a result of bad City management and deliberate attempt of power play by the City Staff. 


RE: Monte Sereno Building Permit Nightmare

Posted by: Anon
Date: May. 4, 2010

Having firsthand experience with Monte Sereno, Mr. Bell and Mr. Loventhal (an attorney who was found by the Superior Court of Santa Clara to have wrongfully destroyed evidence), I would blame in no small part Mr. Bell and Mr. Loventhal for the problems noted.  They appear to be power hungry and run Monte Sereno like it is thier own little fiefdom.

Re: Monte Sereno Building Permit Nightmare

Posted by: Ann OFarrell
Date: Nov. 14, 2010

 Oh Mary this blog should be reactivated, or perhaps my commenting on it now in late 2010 might bring it back to the fore.  I agree with an earlier comment that you are the hero.  Well done, you are an excellent agent!  Sellers must have been thrilled and oh my... how lucky they were to have you.  Buyers and buyer's agent really benefited from your perseverance.

Yes hats off to Rick Raynes RAR Construction and to you Mary for giving credt where credit is due. I have added Rick to my datatbase for clients.  Shame on the city of Monte Sereno.

I strive for excellence but you are a hard one to catch up with Mary.  -Ann

RE: Monte Sereno Building Permit Nightmare

Posted by: thesa chambers
Date: Apr. 29, 2011

I feel your pain - although our process to get permits finaled after they expire seems much easier it can be a huge wrench - kudos to you for helping your sellers - kudos to Rick for being an awesome guy - kudos to the buyers and the buyer's agent for hanging in there - I love to hear a win win solution -

RE: Monte Sereno Building Permit Nightmare

Posted by: Beekay
Date: Feb. 25, 2012

 Hello, I have a similar problem with a Los Gatos home. My offer was accepted and now I found out that the builder permit pulled in 1964 does not have the final signatures. Though the original owners added 2 bedrooms a few years later wih permit (the copies of which I have) and also did re-roofing 30 years after that. I am not sure how  can I get this verified Would you know if this is even a problem or how Kos Gatos treats this kind of an error?




RE: Monte Sereno Building Permit Nightmare

Posted by: Mary Pope-Handy
Date: Feb. 25, 2012

Hi Beekay,

It is very possible that the finals were obtained & "signed off" but that someone misplaced that sheet.  Lost permit files are extremely common in every jurisdication (city or county level).

This is especially true if the property used to be a county pocket but later was incorporated.

Although I've never hired anyone to analyze permits, I believe that there's someone or some company in Santa Clara County that can be paid to do this.  That same resource may also provide remedies to the issues.  Ask your Realtor to see if you can find this person or company - might be a big help.

Also, you might go talk to someone at the town of Los Gatos (building department) and see what they say can be done.  As I recall, Los Gatos is very reasonable about grandfathering in things (possibly at no cost).  It very likely can be rectified.  I do hope so. Please let me know how it turns out. 


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