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Westside Digest

Beverly Hills : New Vote Set on Hillside Law

September 09, 1993

With actor Jack Lemmon and other Tower Road residents looking on, the City Council took the first step Tuesday toward extending an urgency ordinance that adds new requirements for building homes in the hillside.

The temporary law approved nearly a month ago requires basements to be included in calculating floor space while the city rethinks its hillside building regulations, which were approved last year. The 45-day urgency measure is set to expire Sept. 24.

After a public hearing this week, the council directed staff to bring the interim measure back for a vote next Tuesday with a new amendment. The amendment would count space used for mechanical equipment as well as basement space in calculating floor area. The calculations are used by the city to determine which projects may be reviewed and approved by city planners and which homes are subject to public hearings and review by the Planning Commission.

Under the hillside ordinance, houses larger than 25,000 square feet must be reviewed by the commission.

Attorneys for part-time resident Robert Manoukian protested the proposed amendment. Faced with staunch opposition from Lemmon and other neighbors, Manoukian lost a bid last month to win city approval for a 46,000-square-foot estate on his Tower Road property.

Manoukian has submitted a new application with the city that calls for a nearly 25,000-square-foot home to be built on two of his three adjoining lots. Because the project fell below 25,000 square feet, it would not require public hearings and Planning Commission review.

The revised measure, if approved, will require Manoukian to take away another 1,000 square feet from his project to meet the 25,000-square-foot threshold required for city staff review, said Tom K. Houston, an attorney for Manoukian.

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