IRVINE : 'Castle' Owners Told to Vacate Home by March 10

Haym and Fern Ganish have been ordered by Orange County Superior Court to vacate their home by March 10 to make way for its demolition by the city.

The court action comes 13 years after the Ganishes first began the transformation of their ranch-style home into a stone-covered "castle."

City officials obtained a warrant in Superior Court that gives them until April 3 to demolish the three-story Kron Street home, City Atty. Joel D. Kuperberg said. The city claims the house is in violation of state safety and building codes.

The Ganishes say they have made no plans to move and are considering legal action. Haym Ganish said he has faxed information about his plight to the White House, asking federal officials to block what he calls an unconstitutional act.

"They're turning the whole Constitution backward," Haym Ganish said. "We're guilty first and we're supposed to prove ourselves innocent."

The Ganishes failed to meet a court-imposed December deadline for submitting plans and posting a $50,000 bond to guarantee completion of the home.

Fern Ganish said the city's actions are based on old information about the condition of her home. "If they were to come to the house, I don't think they would find it unsafe," Fern Ganish said. "This is an extreme consequence for not submitting plans."

But city officials point out that they extended the deadline for submitting plans several times and met with the Ganishes to try and find a solution to save the home.

"We've tried our darndest to get them to see the reality of the situation and abide by the agreement that they signed back in November," Councilwoman Paula Werner said. "We have gone as far as we can."

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