Posted: Monday, May 8, 2017 – 11:34 AM
Days ahead of another court hearing on his controversial 901 Strada Vecchia, developer Mohamed Hadid has submitted revised construction plans that call into question exactly how serious he is about bringing the megamansion into compliance with Los Angeles city code.
As the Courier reported two weeks ago, Hadid is rumored to be nearing a plea agreement with the Los Angeles City Attorney in the criminal case over the Bel-Air mansion, with a possible caveat being that sentencing would be delayed for an undefined period while he’s given time to bring the home into compliance.
Plans submitted late last week, however, include several issues that seem to make difficult for the home to do that. Perhaps most notably, the revised plans still include a large IMAX theatre, which was built illegally after a Stop Work Order was put in place.
The plans continued calling the bottom floor of the home a “basement” – in an attempt to have it not count toward the square footage of the home – but plan check reviewers weren’t buying it, and noted that the basement is actually a third floor, making it a three-story, 30,000-plus square foot home.
Any house larger than 17,500 square feet in Bel Air automatically triggers discretionary site plan review.
Additionally, original construction of the home damaged an already unstable slope below the home. Original development plans misrepresented the grade of the hillside with illegal grading, and Hadid was asked over and over to base all surveys on the Navigate L.A. program, the same maps every other developer in the city uses. The most updated plans continue to disregard those maps and use the wrong survey points.
The revised plans do include removal of a pool deck structure atop the home, with no habitable space under the pool structure. The plans were littered with plan check comments that indicated the plans did not meet L.A. city requirements.
It’s hard to imagine the revised plans doing anything more than simply further delaying the ongoing criminal trial.
Victor De La Cruz, attorney for Bel Air resident Joe Horacek, whose home is directly below the project, said he believed the submitted plans were an attempt to “put on a good face for his criminal hearing… it seems more and more that it’s not that he wants to present a workable plan.”
“I can’t see how the city would approve all these discretionary acts,” De La Cruz said. “It would be essentially rewarding him for everything he’s done.”
Tuesday’s hearing is set for 9 a.m. in Van Nuys Superior Court.