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City OKs 4-Acre Estate But Insists on 81 Conditions


BEVERLY HILLS — The Beverly Hills Planning Commission gave final approval to a luxurious estate proposed for the hills of the city's northwest corner, but not before saddling it with 81 conditions that regulate parties, parking, construction and landscaping.

The decision was reached Monday after a 3 1/2-hour tussle between commissioners and lawyers for the property owner over the wording of the conditions.

Commissioner Rose Norton opposed the project, but commissioners Jerry Magnin, Paul Selwyn and Hamid Gabbay voted in favor of the scaled-back project with a lengthy set of conditions. Seeking to keep all the conditions intact, the commission attached a provision that would void the approval if any of the conditions are ruled invalid as a result of a court challenge brought by the property owner, London resident Robert Manoukian, or his representatives.

Commissioners extended the 26-month construction period originally proposed by Manoukian's representatives to a 2 1/2-year construction limit, saying the original estimate was unrealistic. The commission will require the owner to pay up to $45,000 per year for someone to monitor the construction to ensure that the city's conditions are met. It also stipulated that a 24-hour hot line be established to respond to construction-related complaints.

Manoukian, a part-time resident of Beverly Hills, originally had planned to build a classically designed, 59,000-square-foot estate on the nearly four-acre property at 1146 Tower Road. Architectural drawings called for a 41,000-square-foot mansion with 14 bedrooms, a ballroom, gym and theater, a six-bedroom guardhouse and a five-bedroom guest villa.

But after six public meetings this year by the commission, two public hearings last year by another city board and widespread community opposition, the project was pared down to a 36,000-square-foot estate. The revised project calls for a main house of 27,126 square feet, servants quarters of about 8,000 square feet connected by a corridor to the main house, an existing garage of 604 square feet and no guardhouse. It also will have a 10,718-square-foot basement, which is not counted in final measurements under city code.

Other conditions on the project limit the number of parties the owner can give in any calendar year without a special-events permit to four involving 200 or more guests, who must be shuttled to the home from an off-site location.

Commissioners also set an upper limit on the number of heavy hauling trucks entering and leaving the property during construction. A construction consultant has estimated that the project will require 3,500 truckloads of material.

Commissioner Magnin said there will be limits on the monthly number of loads. From two to 13 truckloads a day will be necessary, but during the concrete pouring phase, the number of trucks may reach 20 during the course of a five-hour delivery period. The extra truckloads on those days will be compensated for by a reduction in truckloads during the rest of the month.

Opponents of the project, represented by longtime resident Stuart Ketchum, said Monday they will appeal to the City Council within the next two weeks. Opponents, who have included Jack Lemmon and MCA President Sidney Sheinberg, have argued that in a neighborhood where most homes range from 5,000 to 10,000 square feet, the project is still too large and will have serious construction and traffic effects on the neighborhood, located in an exclusive section of the city above Sunset Boulevard.

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