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Rich Neighbors Win Battle in Saudi Prince Megacompound War

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Oh man, that Saudi Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdullah ibn Abdulaziz al Saud still hasn't built his massive megacompound in Benedict Canyon? The fancy neighbors (led by Marsha Karsh, wife of super-rich Oaktree Capital Management cofounder Bruce Karsh) are still fighting this thing with high-priced lawyers and PR people? Gosh, it's probably been consuming their whole lives while we talk about Santa Monica starchitecture and Arts District gentrification and the world turns. Well, we're paying attention to you guys now; what's up? Oh, the neighbors have won this round! They'd already gotten the compound downsized--to just 52,000 square feet from 85,000--and then the city threw up some road blocks in the permitting process. But last year the prince won a lawsuit that allowed him to at least keep moving on the project. Now comes a press release titled "PRINCE'S LAWSUIT AGAINST THE CITY THROWN OUT!" (and wouldn't this whole story be much better if it were about Prince, the pop star?).

The details are pure wonkery, but for the wonks:

[T]he Court upheld Los Angeles Planning Director Michael LoGrande's 2012 express confirmation that the steeply sloping Benedict Canyon property, located at the end of a narrow, dead-end street in a "very high fire hazard severity zone," must have secondary vehicular access. The Court rejected the Prince's argument that a winding stairway path traversing a utility easement on a neighboring property could replace the requisite vehicular access road. More broadly, the neighbors say they want a full environmental review for the project (the lawsuit last year ruled that that wasn't necessary), but really what they want is nothing: no construction and no line of trucks coming in and out of their fancy 'hood.
· Prince Abdulaziz Ibn Abdullah Ibn Abdulaziz Al Saud Archives [Curbed LA]