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Couple Sued Over "Up" House

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The controversy surrounding a Victorian home in Santa Clara's oldest neighborhood continues to grow. (Published Wednesday, Apr 30, 2014)

    The couple whose Victorian house has drawn neighbors' ire for its whimsical Disney-style paint job are now being sued by a neighbor who claims their remodeling dumped toxic lead into her yard.

    Sarah Doty filed the lawsuit in after a Santa Clara County judge denied an injunction to stop the remodel.

    “The federal government came to my house and did testing that showed high levels of lead,” Doty said. “I had additional testing done by the California Department of Health which tested lead in the tens of thousands of times above the legal limit. So my yard is contaminated.”

    Thomas Gelini, the San Jose attorney representing the homeowners denied all allegations against his clients.

    The couple who owns the house, Hosam Haggog and Fatima Rahman, said they chose the color scheme for the house in Santa Clara’s Quad neighborhood because their daughters love the animated movie “Up."

    Neighbors attempted to stop the remodel of the home with hopes of keeping the Victorian in its original "historic" look. The neighborhood association board member said the problem is the new paint masks an "ugly truth."

    “It’s not the color, it’s absolutely not the color, it’s about making sure that people follow safe procedures when they remodel their houses,” said Sudhanshu Jain of the Old Quad Residents Association.

    The neighborhood association also questions the city’s permit process and code enforcement. Several neighbors are suing the city over it.

    While the neighborhood is divided on the paint and the historical correctness – and even the lead concern – many of the neighbors said they are ready to move on.

    “He just wants to live in his house, just let him live in his house,” Diana Mendoza said.