Posted: Friday, August 18, 2017 – 2:19 PM
The Bel-Air Association (BAA) scored a major victory earlier this week when its appeal to the West L.A. Planning Commission over excess kitchens in an 11-acre development in Bel-Air was successful.
The Park Bel Air at 780, 788 and 800 Tortuoso Way is an 11-acre property planned for three spec homes, which are being purported as single-family dwellings.
The site’s website describes the homes as “a collection of three bespoke, turn-key estates.”
L.A. building code only allows for one kitchen per home, but the project and its developer – Tony Russo of Crest Realty – were asking for three kitchens per home.
The Zoning Administrator initially allowed for two of the homes to have two kitchens and another to have three, a decision which the BAA swiftly appealed.
In order to receive the variance that would have been required to get the extra kitchens, the applicant was tasked with proving that only one kitchen was a “hardship” for the property.
“It’s tough to go to the city and ask for relief on a code requirement based on a hardship,” said BAA executive director Shawn Bayliss. “When your hardship is basically, I’m just so rich and my house is so big that I can’t walk from one end to the other without a snack.”
The narrow driveway leading up to the project is a further concern for residents, as it is directly across the street from the exit to the always popular Hotel Bel-Air. In addition to regular traffic gridlocks, there is a concern among many in the community about what would happen if vehicles are backed up on the driveway, in the event that emergency vehicles are attempting to leave the hotel.