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City sues family for excessive code violations
January 02, 2013, 05:00 AM By Bill Silverfarb Daily Journal staff

A family in San Mateo’s Shoreview neighborhood has been ordered to vacate their home as the city is seeking the court to declare the property on Lindbergh Street a "continuing public nuisance.”

The city filed a complaint in Superior Court against Patricia Barnes and Mark and Kimberly Klaiber Dec. 20 after the family failed for years to clean up the property and bring it up to code.

Mark Klaiber has even lived in a tent in the front yard of the home to protect his property, he told the city.

The family received its first abatement notice for code problems way back in 1995 for the Lindbergh property, according to the complaint.

The Klaibers were issued a building permit in 2001 to construct a first-floor reduction and a second-floor addition on the home but those permits have been open for more than 10 years and a city building inspector determined the work should have taken no more than two years to complete, according to the claim.

Neighbors complained to the city for years about the property since there was constant debris and construction maintained on the property, according to the complaint. The family was asked to give the city a detailed timeline in 2006 for when the project would be complete and threatened to file a lawsuit against the family to have it comply with the city’s municipal code. The family said at the time the work would be completed in 190 days, but it never was.

Some of the most recent code enforcement violations the family were hit with include use of the property as a dumping ground; hazardous or unsanitary premises, debris, junk, garbage and vegetation accumulations on the property; fire hazard, excessive accumulation of storage, junk and/or debris on the property; inadequate exits, excessive accumulation of storage, junk creating potential safe egress hazard; and storage in public view, junk, debris, construction materials stored in public view.

Barnes is Kimberly Klaiber’s mother and the family had a young child living on the property, according to the complaint.

The city red-tagged the home in May and ordered the family to vacate and make the needed repairs.

The violations were found to be immediately dangerous, according to the complaint.

An inspection of the home in April revealed sheetrock missing throughout, unsafe electrical wiring, debris and combustibles piled up excessively and blocking exits, no handrails on the stairwell and holes in the stair landings with unfinished work, according to the complaint.

A nonprofit agency, Rebuilding Together, even had a slew of volunteers come to the property in August to help clean up the property but were told by the Klaibers in September that their assistance was no longer desired, according to the complaint.

The city, depending on court action, may actually hire a contractor to perform the needed repairs to the home and clean up the yard at the family’s expense.

A hearing on the preliminary injunction is scheduled for Feb. 14.

Neither the Klaibers nor Barnes could be reached for comment.

Bill Silverfarb can be reached by email: silverfarb@smdailyjournal.com or by phone: (650) 344-5200 ext. 106.

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