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Million Dollar Home Bought By Open Space District Set To Be Demolished

LOS GATOS (CBS SF) -- A nearly million dollar Peninsula home that was bought with taxpayer money for use by regional open space rangers is set to be torn down.

The two-bedroom home located in the Los Gatos hills on Overlook Drive is expected to be demolished.

The home was bought by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District for one of its rangers.

Given the spectacular view, it's easy to understand why it might have seemed like a good investment, even with an almost $1 million price tag.

"It was really important. The board decided to buy the property because it provided access to the El Sereno Preserve," explained Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District spokesperson Brian Malone. "And also it provided an on-site residence for our rangers."

But a decade later, the house sits empty, waiting for the wrecking ball.

The home is perched precariously on a steep hillside at the end of a private road near the entrance to the preserve.

In recent years, the ground underneath the home has been sliding, making it unsafe and ultimately unlivable.

"In 2015, they were noticing a lot of cracks in the building, doors that wouldn't shut," said Malone. "The tile was cracking. Basically, it was evidence that the house was moving."

An engineering firm confirmed their fears and put a $400,000 price tag on repairs.

But despite paying almost a million dollars upfront for the home, the taxpayer-funded Open Space District voted recently to tear it down. The board insists that, even with the benefit of hindsight, it wasn't a bad investment.

"It really helped us establish access to the preserve. That's the main reason the board decided to purchase the property," said Malone.

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