LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Criminal charges have been filed against the developers, who have apparently restarted construction on five unauthorized homes built into the side of the Santa Monica Mountains, instead of tearing them down as previously ordered by the city.
LA attorney Mike Feuer said he has filed 35 criminal charges against Shahra and Ester Ghalil for alleged building and security violations in connection with the continued construction of five partially built homes on Woodstock Road in Laurel Canyon. The homes, built in the late 1990s, are each three stories high and 5,000 square feet.
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“These unauthorized structures in the Santa Monica Mountains were to be demolished nearly 20 years ago, and yet we argue that current developers have ignored the order of the city and continued to work on structures that should no longer be there,” Feuer said in a statement. announcement.
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The structures were the first to be built as part of a 21-dwelling development. Permits were issued for the homes between 1998 and 1999, but construction was halted in 2002 and developers were ordered to make an appropriate environmental impact assessment. This review never happened, and a year later, all five homes were ordered to remain safe with no further construction allowed before being removed.
But late last year, neighbors reported that building activities were resumed for the LA Department of Building and Safety. Inspections determined that a new developer, Ghalils, had acquired the properties and was planning construction on all five sites, according to Feuer’s office. Since then, the city has issued new orders to stop all work and for the owners to abide by the reduction order that is still in effect.
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The Ghalilians face charges of misconduct for not obtaining permits before construction resumes, non-compliance with the city’s order to comply and failure to remove the vacant, unfinished structures.