Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud has waited long enough to build his 60,000 square foot megacompound in Benedict Canyon, thankyouverymuch--the Saudi prince's development company is now suing the city of Los Angeles for holding up his permits, reports Reuters. Fancy billionaire neighbors (including former Darth Agent Michael Ovitz and Oaktree Capital Management spouse Martha Karsh) have been fighting the project since it was first proposed as an 85,000 square foot compound back in early 2011. The prince later downsized on his sons' villa and staff quarters in response to requests from Ovitz, but neighbors are still up in arms, and in October last year the Department of Building and Safety decided the project was still large enough to warrant a full environmental review (which can take a while).
Last week, the prince's Tower Lane Properties filed suit in LA Superior Court, alleging that "Petitioner carefully designed the project to minimize impacts on the environment and the surrounding area" and that the project "requires no discretionary approvals" (meaning the City Council or Planning Commission shouldn't need to vote on it, which seems pretty bold for something this big). The prince's lawyer Benjamin Reznik says "that similarly sized houses upwards of 52,000 square feet have been built in the neighborhood without any additional review, and the prince's proposal is not even the largest residential project in the area." Reznik says there should be a hearing in the next few months.
There's lots more great dirt on this parcel and all the players involved in the fight--read it all here.
· Saudi prince sues Los Angeles to hasten mansion plans [Reuters]
· Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud Archives [Curbed LA]