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Saudi Prince Needs Full Environmental Review For Downsized Benedict Canyon Mega-Compound

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Remember Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud, who wants to build a 52,000 square foot compound on 5.2 acres in Benedict Canyon? There's yet another wrench in his ridiculous plans--the LA Department of Building and Safety has told him that his permits (for grading and wall work) have expired and that the project will now have to go through a full environmental impact review, reports the LA Times. The neighbors (including notorious CAA co-founder Michael Ovitz) threw the first wrench into the plans back in the spring, when they appealed the original 85,000 square foot project. Before the appeal made it to a hearing, the prince withdrew those plans and submitted new, slightly smaller ones.

The neighbors have argued that the project (in both forms) is big enough and requires enough digging and hauling to trigger review under the state's California Environmental Quality Act law (which is usually applied to projects like condo buildings and NFL stadiums, and not to single family residences), but the prince's reps have disputed that. Now the Planning Department has told Building and Safety that it can't issue new permits until the new project gets the full environmental review, which can take quite a while. The proposed compound includes a 42,681 square foot main house, a 4,400 square foot guesthouse, a 2,800 square foot caretaker's house, and a 3,300 square foot pool building.
· Benedict Canyon project requires environmental review [LAT]
· Saudi Prince Does As Ovitz Asks, Downsizes Mega-Compound [Curbed LA]