Paying for the View
A California Couple spends millions improving their view.
You often hear stories about breathtaking views, getting the wind knocked out of them by a new construction project. It brings to mind, the Joni Mitchell song, "they paved paradise… put up a parking lot."
Only today on Marin County's Belevedere Island, paradise, took its revenge.
Today Dave Bettis' construction crew crushed a 6,500 square foot home on scenic Belevedere road as if it were a grape - a really old grape. "It was a hundred years old, and had basically had run its course as a structure," said Dave Bettis of Dave Bettis Construction.
The house was originally a carriage house from when this part of the island was a sprawling estate. In the last few years, it had fallen into foreclosure and disrepair.
So next door neighbors Clark and Sharon Winslow bought the house for 4.2 million dollars. Except their plans for the site only went as far as the demolition permit. "This is a very unique situation, we haven't dealt with this before in Marin," says Bettis.
The Winslows didn't want to speak on camera, but off camera, they said they planned to replace the house with a garden and restore the neighborhood's panoramic views, and as heavy machinery peeled back old walls, those views snapped to life. "A week ago you couldn't see anything from here except the gable end of the house. And now we've opened it up for everybody to enjoy," said Bettis.
Everybody, included neighbor Roger Snow, whose house sits just up the hill from the demolished property. "The view is really nice now, we see right across the bay. The trees have been trimmed off nicely it looks really good. It's really improved the view. So when the America's cups on we're going to have a really good view," said Snow.
There weren't many tears shed for the 4 million dollar tear down. Even the planning department couldn't find much historic about it.
But as the walls came down, another line from that Joni Mitchell song came to mind, "you don't know what you've got till it's gone. "
Joe Rosato Junior, reporting.