Neighbors dispute "Up" house in Santa Clara


The house is getting a lot of attention because it looks like it came straight out of one of Hollywood's favorite feel good movies. But the next door neighbor says the construction project is more like a horror movie come to life.

On a street of eye catching historic Victorians in Santa Clara one stands out, or up above the rest. If the house looks familiar, that's because it painted to look like the home from the Disney Pixar movie "Up."

Hosam Haggag and Fatima Rahman bought the home two-and-a-half years ago. By everyone's account, it was a mess. After a lot of work, the couple and their two young daughters just moved in this past weekend.

"We got everything done. We hope to get some balloons up hopefully maybe when the block party happens or when, or when we're done -- hopefully," said Rahman.

But scratch the surface on that colorful paint job and you'll find a neighborhood dispute.

"You know, I actually like the paint colors. I actually think they're fun and whimsical. I like having a bright fun, thing to look at," said Sarah Doty, neighbor.

"But it's what's underneath that you're most concerned about?" asked ABC7's Matt Keller.

"Exactly," said Doty.

Doty claims proper precautions weren't taken when the layers of lead paint were sanded off for the new look. She filed a lawsuit asking for the court to make Hosam and Fatima pay for the clean-up of toxic lead she claims came from their house and spread into her yard and into the neighborhood.

"It was the toxic lead that was sanded and stripped in places and that ended up in the neighborhood that is a huge concern -- especially to kids," said Doty.

Doty showed ABC7 News documents revealing lead was found. Hosam and Fatima would not discuss the lawsuit, but their attorney denies all allegations in the complaint. Attorney Tom Gelini says tests for lead paint would turn up positive everywhere in this neighborhood because many of the homes are more than 110-years-old.

Surprisingly the controversy isn't about the bright colors on a classic home. Several people took pictures and complimented the couple on their paint job. But if you do have a problem with it, one man had some advice.

"Get a life. I wouldn't mind that house next to me. They're Victorians -- I like the house," said Bill, Santa Clara resident.

The mayor says he will throw a block party when the home is completed. The next court date for the lawsuit is in August.

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