It's the last week in December, when according to tradition we make up a bunch of awards and hand them out to all the best, worst, and shitshowiest of things that happened in Los Angeles real estate, architecture, and neighborhoods this year. These are your 2014 Curbed Awards.
NIMBYism is a way of life in Los Angeles. From the discriminatory housing convenants of the city's early boom days to the California-Environmental-Quality-Act-abusing lawsuits of today, homeowning Angelenos have always felt entitled to dictate pretty much everything that goes on in their neighborhoods. After all, they have their property values to think of. But judging by this year's truly outrageous crop of neighbor fights—from homeowners pranking the homeless to condo-dwellers cursing at mourners during funerals—they often do not have empathy, tact, or a sense of perspective to worry about (which is too bad, because they might have had a good point or two buried in all that vitriol). Here, Los Angeles's Year in Neighbor Beefs:
January 9: The El Sereno Historical Society decides to sue the LA City Council over a few of those blue neighborhood signs that say "Rose Hills."
January 9: Glendale residents successfully push a homeless shelter to the outskirts of town, so they don't have to think about homeless people.
February 4: People rich enough to have homes in Venice add extra locks to a container where homeless people store their stuff, out of spite.
February 7: Beverly Hillsers send a snotty note and a bottle of champagne to their loud neighbor, then brag about the whole thing to LAist.
February 14: Residents in Whitley Heights, apparently driven mad by lack of parking, shave down curbs so they can park on the sidewalk, paint curbs red, then gray, and have huge arguments with each other via lamp post sign.
February 14: Malibuites freak at the idea of a 19-acre facility to keep five white Siberian tigers who will occasionally be taken on and off the premises for movie shoots. One couple takes their kids out of school so the kids can be at the public hearing to look innocent and delectable, we guess.
March 4: A bunch of people who live near Grant Elementary School in Santa Monica freak out over a one-hour church service held at the school on one day a week (Sunday).
March 7: Three Franklin Hills residents file a lawsuit against a neighbor over her enormous windchimes, which she refuses to remove.
March 7: A Sherman Oaks man sues 20th Century Fox, claiming a film crew gave him PTSD and nightmares about "film companies coming into [his] house at night, making lots of noise and refusing to leave."
April 1: Gwyneth Paltrow's Brentwood neighbors bitch to the gossip rags about her illegally-tall black fence and construction work, and also that they're not allowed to talk to Gwyneth, only to her assistant Oliver.
April 3: A Santa Monica man has to take his neighbor to court over a 40-foot-tall hedge that she refuses to trim.
July 7: A Woodland Hills man and his elderly mother have no electricity in their brand new house because the trust that owns the neighboring house refuses to give the LADWP an easement to put up a pole.
July 31: Residents of a condo complex that overlooks a cemetery protest a rooftop burial area by banging pots and pans, screaming swears, and setting off car alarms during funerals. "We're sitting there eating brunch on the weekends and we have people right outside our window crying their eyes out," says one compassionate condo owner.
September 17: Management at USC-adjacent fauxtalian fortress The Lorenzo bans a disabled resident from using the parking space she's paid for, because her car is a hearse and it's creeping out the neighbors. They suggest she park her hearse next door at the children's hospital instead.
October 3: Homeowner group the Bel-Air Association tries to get a developer to pay $500 for every 500 cubic yards of dirt it hauls from a project in the neighborhood, which it does not really have the authority to do. Then their lawyer sent threatening emails to neighborhood homeowners, warning about restraining orders.
October 22: Anti-McMansion crusaders go off the deep-end across the city, putting up signs facing their neighbors' houses that say "Your house blocks our sunlight," leaving dog poop on construction fencing, and protesting at open houses.
November 17: Bel Air residents flip that one entrance to the neighborhood will be closed for eight hours overnight for filming, claiming the closure is dangerous.
December 1: A Hermosa Beach couple is forced to get rid of two cats after neighbors complain and the city invokes its two-pet limit. One neighbor claimed the cats were the bad actors and at one point threw cat poop on the couple's driveway.