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Battle on the Beverly Hills/Los Angeles Border is Heating Up

The battle to raze three buildings on North Oakhurst Drive along the Beverly Hills/Los Angeles border and build 31 condos in their place continues to heat up. The property is within both jurisdictions, but while Los Angeles approved the project in February, Beverly Hills just ruled that it wants the whole thing to undergo a major reworking. A group of Beverly Hillsers have already appealed LA's approval of the project and lost, so a neighborhood group has filed a lawsuit against the city in LA Superior Court, "alleging the city failed to adequately analyze the environment impacts of the project," says the LA Business Journal.

"It's our front (of the building), it's our view and it really concerns me that Los Angeles has that much say in what we in Beverly Hills can do with our property," BH's planning commissioner said at a commission hearing earlier this month. BH's vice mayor also called LA out on its "checkered history of approving projects for political reasons," adding that, "The fact that L.A. approved it has no bearing. (Beverly Hills) needs to do what's right for us." The BH commission ruled that the project will instead "work with a subcommittee to dramatically overhaul the proposal, scaling it down to see if a more appropriate project can be achieved."

The border between the two cities doesn't cut through the property evenly; the front of the building (four stories) would be on the Bev Hills side and the back would be on the LA side (five stories). Because the most visible part of the building is in Bev Hills, they say that gives them a greater claim to the project. But even though the front of the building is on Bev Hills soil, two-thirds of the project is in Los Angeles, which is why LA was tasked with the environmental review. The BH residents' lawsuit, which will go to trial in June, alleges that LA didn't do an "adequate" job in that review, including evaluating whether or not the 1930s-era buildings on the site are historic.

The buildings, described in the article as dilapidated, have been empty since August, when the last of the evicted tenants moved out.
· Homes on Line In Sister Cities [LABJ]
· War Has Broken Out on the Beverly Hills/Los Angeles Border [Curbed LA]