Law Suit Over Home-based Child Care

Daycare at 1250 Heritage is not even on the cul-de-sac
Daycare at 1250 Heritage is not even on the cul-de-sac
Written by lalahpolitico

A closed session of Los Altos City Council will include some City Manager interviews and discussion of a lawsuit. The session starts at 5:30 pm Jan. 24 and precedes the regular Los Altos City Council meeting.

The case of the City of Los Altos vs. Irina Mamochina & Greg Vaisberg revolves around the City Council action taken on May 10, 2011 to NOT allow use of the home at 1250 Heritage Court (near Grant Road) for child day care.

Apparently Irina was operating  a properly licensed (by the county) center for 14 kids, the maximum allowed for home-based centers.Thanks to her neighbors she learned she might need some Los Altos permits, too. Certainly she needed a Business License Tax permit.  But it seems she may have needed a Los Altos Planning use permit too.

She applied for a use permit and the Planning Commission voted 4 to 2 to allow it.  Neighbors had complained about the traffic, which was allegedly more of an issue because Heritage Oaks is a cul-de-sac.However, on May 10 Los Altos City Council overturned the approval of the Planning Commission reasoning that a cul-de-sac was an inappropriate location for home daycare.  The result: yet another lawsuit filed against the city.


Some people might think a cul-de-sac was an ideal location for daycare. If the toddlers get out of the fence, they won’t get run over.

At least this time it’s not the Los Altos School District getting sued.  However, we predict the same outcome.  The City seems to have a predilection for losing lawsuits, but fighting them to the bitter (expensive) end.

Perhaps the city did not know that Irina’s son, Greg Vaisberg, appears to be an corporate attorney with stints at Sun Microsystems, Oracle, and now a start-up.

Los Altos Politico is no expert.  But we did look at a Google map of the house and the cul-de-sac.  1250 is NOT one of those pie-lots at the end of the street.  Before the pie-lot homes at the end, the street looks pretty wide and the homes seem to have normal frontages.  In particular 1250 has a pretty capacious driveway and normal frontage.

Los Altos Politico is no expert.  But we did learn that State and County laws about home child care exist so that localities cannot pre-empt the right to operate one.  The only restriction on the right we did see was the City of San Jose, requiring a Fire Permit, and also asking the hours of operation be no more than Monday to Friday, from 6am to 7pm.

Los Altos Politico is no expert. The situation sounds like an older lady wanting to stay active to keep young. Don’t people move into Los Altos to have babies and raise them?

Is Irina a surrogate grandma for those Los Altos working moms who don’t have one in the area?


About the author


Norma Schroder is an economics & market researcher by trade and ardent independent journalist, photographer and videographer by avocation. Enthralled by the growth of the tech industry over the decades, she became fascinated with the business of local politics only in the past several years.