Adelaide Drive residents have won a court victory temporarily stopping a remodeling project that they contend would destroy their views of Santa Monica Canyon and the Pacific Ocean.
Santa Monica Superior Court Judge David Rothman last week issued a preliminary injunction halting construction on the upper level of a remodeling project at 345 Adelaide Drive until a Jan. 8 court hearing.
He upheld a stop-work order issued by a city building inspector and said "irreparable harm" would be done if the remodeling is completed.
In his ruling, Rothman said that if homeowner Peter Olmstead were allowed to finish remodeling the upper level, residents, in effect, would lose their case. He said it is "unlikely" that neighbors could persuade the city to order a completed structure torn down even if they prevailed in their case.
The judge said that if the project were allowed to proceed, "a scenic area of Santa Monica will be lost without a full review by the appropriate governmental agencies."
Roger Jon Diamond, attorney for the Adelaide Drive Residents Assn., said homeowners who filed suit against the project are pleased with Rothman's ruling.
Meanwhile, residents are awaiting a ruling by a Los Angeles city zoning administrator who heard the case on Dec. 16, he said.
If Zoning Administrator James Crisp has not issued a decision by Jan. 8, homeowners will ask Rothman to extend the injunctiion against the remodeling, Diamond said.
Attorney Gary S. Smolker, representing Olmstead, said the building inspector's stop-work order was issued by mistake because Olmstead has a valid building permit from the city of Los Angeles.
Olmstead's building permit application was reviewed by four building and safety officials who decided that the remodeling complied with city regulations, he said.
But in his ruling, Rothman said the stop-work order was issued with sufficient grounds.