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Two Bel Air Neighborhood Groups Are in a Vicious War

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In the Bel-Air Association vs. the Bel Air Homeowners Alliance, the weapons are restraining orders and local newspaper articles

About two weeks ago, famously outrageous homeowner group the Bel-Air Association had a serious upheaval. Residents angered over the BAA's allegedly unscrupulous money grabs—attempts to charge developers hundreds of dollars for construction dirt trucked through the neighborhood on public streets; allowing eight-hour street shutdowns for filming—decided to clean house and vote in nine totally new board members on March 17. They also passed new bylaws.

The old guard did not go down easy. There was a restraining order filed and the BAA's office was supposedly stripped of computers and files. Now, two weeks later, the old leadership is still insisting the election was not official.

In "a seemingly-desperate blog post" on the BAA site, the association's former president Ron Hudson attempted to persuade Bel Air residents that the new board elected and the new bylaws passed at that meeting two weeks ago aren't valid, the Beverly Hills Courier reports. He "retained access" to the website somehow, "despite his removal from power."

In what the BH Courier calls "a not-so-easy-on-the-eyes blog post mixing oversized fonts, randomly bolded words and red-colored type," he wrote that the BAA's 25 directors were still in office and that the vote was a coup by the rival Beverly Hills Homeowners Alliance, which was formed in 2014 in response to what they saw as a pro-development BAA.

Incidentally, Marcia Hobbs, the president and publisher of the Beverly Hills Courier, which has run many anti-BAA articles, is a board member of the BAHOA. Former Ticketmaster CEO Fred Rosen, who has often been quoted in BH Courier stories about the BAA, is president of the BAHOA.

In his blog post, Hudson said not only that the election meeting was a "sham," but also that Hobbs, Rosen, and others "broke into the Bel-Air Association’s office," changed the lock, and posted security guards. Furthermore, he wrote that BAHOA members went to the BAA's "two banks and creatively convinced a bank manager at one bank to allow them to withdraw all of the funds from the Association’s accounts. The other bank froze the Association’s account."

Hudson tried unsuccessfully to get a temporary restraining order against the newly elected board, but that request was denied by an LA Superior Court judge. Hudson also wrote that the BAA has filed a lawsuit, so his emailed promise to the new president ("Go to hell...see you goons in court.") may still be fulfilled.

Rosen, cited as only a "Bel-Air resident," tells the Courier "This is all about trying to thwart the will of the community, in exchange for the self-interest of two people ... They’re trying to overturn the democratic process, where this election has brought transparency and openness to the Bel-Air community."