Bel-Air Residents Blow Whistle On 901 Strada Vecchia

By Matt Lopez of the Beverly Hill Courier

Despite a stop-work order and numerous threats of penalties from L.A. city officials, Bel-Air residents still have reason to believe work is ongoing Bel-Air’s most notorious megamansion – 901 Strada Vecchia. Now, Bel-Air residents are wondering what, if anything, the city of L.A. is doing to enforce its own laws. An e-mail obtained by The Courier circulated Tuesday from one concerned resident to Bel-Air Homeowners Alliance (BAHA) members, who forwarded the e-mail to the appropriate Los Angeles Dept. of Building & Safety officials.

The resident, a woman named Chelsey, e-mailed the LADBS officials with pictures of reported continued construction at the residence. “I have photos of workers building a new wall and shoveling concrete,” the e-mail said. Several months ago, the home had its permits pulled and a stop-work order was levied, but that didn’t stop work from continuing on the site. The only work allowed to continue on the site was weatherproofing and land maintenance, but the LADBS found over Thanksgiving weekend that the stop-work order had indeed been violated. This came on the heels of several weeks of residents claiming to have seen and heard work continuing on the site.

Although the city of L.A. has previously found the site to be in violation of the stop-work order, no further penalties have been levied, and the site’s developer Mohamed Hadid is still in ongoing discussion with the city in his attempts to submit revised topographical maps and design plans to have his permits reinstated.

LADBS officials held a meeting with concerned residents in March, addressing issues and questions related to construction and what residents felt was a lack of oversight. At the time, many residents walked away feeling that the meeting was productive and that the city of L.A. may begin taking more proactive steps with the property.

“At what point does cease and desist mean cease and desist, and who exactly is in charge of the city?” BAHA president Fred Rosen said in an e-mail to city officials this week, obtained by The Courier. “It’s absolute reckless and intentional disregard of the law.”

Calls to Galstian, L.A. Building Inspector Jeff Napier and LADBS Spokesman Luke Zamperini were not returned before deadline Thursday.