Development Dispute in Trousdale Estates : Homeowners Split on Proposed Limits

Times Staff Writer

A proposal to restrict home improvements and new development in the Beverly Hills community of Trousdale Estates has pitted homeowners who want to preserve their hillside views against those who want to maintain their development rights.

The Trousdale Estates Homeowners Assn., which has 375 members, submitted petitions asking the city of Beverly Hills to extend a temporary law that imposes a 14-foot height limit on homes in the affluent hillside neighborhood.

The proposal also would prevent the construction of cantilevered homes and patio decks that extend outward and clutter the hillside, said Freida Berlin, an association member.

"The concept up here was to build on the (original home site) and leave the hills alone to keep them beautiful," said Berlin, who lives on Wallace Ridge.

Property owners would be prohibited from building additions on their homes without obtaining a zoning variance from the city.

The proposal has brought protests from other residents.

Owner Jack Kashani presented the city with petitions signed by 62 residents opposed to the zoning change. Kashani said curbing development would prevent owners from improving and increasing the values of their homes, and added that the city should study how limiting growth would affect home prices.

"If you tell people they can't do anything (to improve their home), no one will develop anything in Trousdale," Kashani said. "That would make the entire neighborhood go down the drain.

"I'm not saying that people should be able to interfere with the adjoining views of (their) neighbors. I do not agree that people should be able to build a two- or three-story structure . . . " he said. But "hillside development should continue with proper attention."

Trousdale Estates, which is zoned as single-family residential, is a narrow, mountainous area of about 530 homes whose value ranges from $1.5 million to about $12 million, according to Joan Richman, real estate broker with Mike Silverman Associates.

About two-thirds of the neighborhood is under a 14-foot height restriction now, but the law expires Feb. 16. The remaining third of Trousdale has a 22-foot height limit.

The proposal is on the Planning Commission's Feb. 23 agenda.

Copyright © 2019, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World