July 19, 2024
Beverly Hills elite won’t get to add pool grottoes or remodel their kitchens after judge punishes well-heeled enclave home to celebs like Jeff Bezos for failing

Beverly Hills elite will not be able to make additions or follow through with major remodels on their mansions after the city failed to pass an adequate affordable housing blueprint. 

Celebrities like billionaire Jeff Bezos will have to hold off on adding pool grottoes and kitchen remodels after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Curtis A. Kin banned the well-heeled city from issuing permits to current residents. 

The city was supposed to plan for more than 3,100 new homes, most of them budget friendly, but the state of California has denied the feasibility of the major plans. 

Despite the new judgement, officials have decided to ignore the decision and have continued to issue permits to existing residents. Under the new penalty, new residents are allowed to obtain permits. 

Murray Fisher, a real estate attorney who practiced in Beverly Hills for 50 years told LA Times that he was ‘shocked by the judgement.’ 

‘It would mean that the city is at a standstill,’ Fisher said. 

Beverly Hills elite won’t get to add pool grottoes or remodel their kitchens after judge punishes well-heeled enclave home to celebs like Jeff Bezos for failing

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Curtis A. Kin banned Beverly Hills from issuing permits to current residents after the city failed to pass its adequate affordable housing blueprint

Jeff Bezos's house in Beverly Hills is seen unfinished after the billionaire was forced to pause the expansion on his mega-mansion

Jeff Bezos’s house in Beverly Hills is seen unfinished after the billionaire was forced to pause the expansion on his mega-mansion 

The planned homes are expected to be affordable for low to middle-income residents by the end of the decade. 

State housing regulators have rejected a total of five housing blueprints since the summer of 2021, and one just last month. 

Prior to this new ruling, Beverly Hill has not been challenged even though a 50-year-law has been in place that requires local governments to plan for a growth in population, allowing all people, of all incomes to live in the community. 

The law requires that every eight years the state advises all of the cities exactly how many home they need to build. 

In the past, state legislators have tried to shift their focus on mass development in cities near mass transit and businesses, but it hasn’t worked out. 

Judge Kin said that the Beverly Hills has been counting on medical office buildings and car dealerships to become housing options, but it is unlikely that that will happen.  

Officials from the state’s housing department said that the wealthy city has overestimated how many just how many of its commercial properties could transform into residential developments, LA Times reported. 

Californians for Homeownership, a non-profit funded by the California Association of Realtors sued the city in January 2023 while the city was busy fighting with the state itself. 

In the past, state legislators have tried to shift their focus on mass development in cities near mass transit and businesses, but it hasn't worked out

In the past, state legislators have tried to shift their focus on mass development in cities near mass transit and businesses, but it hasn’t worked out

Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos arrive at the Dolce & Gabbana party during the Milan Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 on January 13

Lauren Sanchez and Jeff Bezos arrive at the Dolce & Gabbana party during the Milan Menswear Fall/Winter 2024-2025 on January 13

Matthew Gelfand, an attorney representing the non-profit has gone on to support Kin for his decision, but that it could also stir up strong opinions within the city to make a deal. 

‘There is some real consequence to the city continuing to drag its feet, a real consequence that will make people demand that the city do its job,’ Gelfand said. 

Though the permit moratorium is in effect, Gelfand admitted that he is open to negotiations to possibly pause the restrictions while the case is under appeal. 

Other cities in the Golden State have faced similar housing issues, but one as busy and expensive as Beverly Hills has never been seen, Bill Fulton, a fellow at UC Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation revealed. 

He predicted that the drastic decision was made due to the state’s ‘aggressive’ housing targets, along with outsiders who have the power to sue. 

‘It was inevitable that some judge was going to do this. But whether this becomes the norm or not, I don’t know,’ Fulton said. 

Along with the new ruling, city officials also plan to submit more information on the housing blueprint in the coming weeks in an effort to expedite approval, city attorney Larry Winer said in a statement. 

Andrew Slocum, the co-owner of Urban Development Company said that this decision will effect his business as zoning and building restrictions will make it difficult to provide smaller, mixed-income housing in the community.

With that, he also believes that the restriction is needed at this time as he said that ‘sometimes pain creates change.’  

‘The minute someone goes in there and they do not issue permits, it’ll be wildfire through the developer, the builder, the community,’ Slocum said. 

In April, Bezos’s mega-mansion expansion was paused after his application to expand the property to add a ‘game court fence with lighting’ waited for approval. 

Bezos's opulent nine-acre Beverly Hills estate is seen from the air. It was designed in the 1930s for media mogul Jack Warner

Bezos’s opulent nine-acre Beverly Hills estate is seen from the air. It was designed in the 1930s for media mogul Jack Warner

Aerial shots of the Amazon founder’s $165million home show construction equipment on the ground but no workers in sight.

Bezos – whose net worth is approximately $174.7billion- had planned to extend the property with a new pool house, powder room and retaining walls.

An initial application was granted in 2021 but Bezos submitted a new request to add a ‘game court fence with lighting’ in January 2023. 

However it was denied because it was incomplete. 

The original application asked to add around 1,000 square feet to the 28,000-square-foot mansion.

A permit obtained by the previous owner film and music industry mogul David Geffen ruled the mansion could be expanded to exceed 15,000 – but not beyond that.

The property was previously  owned by former Warner Bros. President Jack Warner back in 2020. 

It is made up of three-story main house, a guest house, gym, a pergola and a security guard house.