Bel-Air Residents Sue over Mega Mansion

BEL-AIR (CNS) - Celebrity real estate developer Mohamed Hadid is being sued by Bel-Air residents living downhill from the unfinished mansion that led him to be slapped with criminal charges, with the plaintiffs determined to compel him to tear down the huge structure, it was reported today.

Hadid, who's known for his opulent homes, was accused by city prosecutors of illegally building a home bigger and taller than city rules allowed -- it's estimated at roughly 30,000 square feet -- and flouting repeated orders to halt construction, the Los Angeles Times reported. The city of Los Angeles is also a respondent in the residents' lawsuit.

Building permits were revoked for the towering home on Strada Vecchia Road. Prosecutors said it included whole areas -- bedrooms, decks and an IMAX theater -- that the city never approved, according to The Times. Last year, Hadid pleaded no contest to criminal charges, was sentenced to community service and fines and ordered to craft a plan to stabilize the hillside.

Hadid has turned in revised plans for the Bel-Air house, which are still under review with the building department, and says he is working to get approval for a smaller home that falls in line with current codes, The Times reported.

But neighbors living downhill are suing him, contending that the city of Los Angeles has failed to enforce its own order, which demands that builders of the Bel-Air home either get city approval or tear down ``all unauthorized, unapproved construction.''

In the meantime, the neighbors say that they live in constant fear of the hillside collapsing, that their home values have suffered, and that ``their privacy and serenity are invaded by the illegal and unsightly structure looming above them,'' The Times reported.

In their lawsuit, Bel-Air residents John and Judith Bedrosian and Beatriz and Joseph Horacek urge the court to order Hadid to remove ``all improvements'' on the Strada Vecchia property and fully restore the hillside between his and their properties, bringing the slope back to the same condition it was in when Hadid bought the site.

Photo: Getty Images

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