IRVINE : City Council Approves Plan to Save Castle-Like Home

The City Council gave formal approval Tuesday night to a last-minute deal expected to save the castle-like home of Haym and Fern Ganish from demolition.

But there is yet another deadline.

The Ganish family must leave their home by 5 p.m. today and all building-code violations must be corrected by the end of the month.

After 13 years of battling with the Ganish family over the remodeling of their Kron Street home, city officials were preparing to evict them Friday when the couple failed to submit building plans and post a bond to guarantee completion of the house.

But the owner of a Lake Forest topless dance club came forward a few hours before the family was to be evicted, offering to put up $65,000 to pay the cost of bringing the house up to code. Mark Bailey, 45, said he sympathized with the family because of disputes with city officials over his business.

Irvine City Atty. Joel D. Kuperberg said the $65,000 will be placed in escrow until the property meets with building codes. Kuperberg also said the Ganishes must vacate the house today and that all building-code violations must eliminated by March 31.

Fern Ganish said she is "relieved" by the council's approval of the last-minute deal to save her home.

She pleaded no contest in November to criminal charges filed by the city for failing to bring the house into compliance with state building codes. Under the plea agreement, she was given one year to complete remodeling of the home, contingent on a series of deadlines. Haym Ganish refused to take part in the court-ordered agreement, and criminal charges filed against him by the city are still pending.

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