The city was wrong for requiring a Saudi prince to submit his proposed housing compound to a tract map review since he has no plans to subdivide the estate, according to an Appeals Court ruling obtained by LandUseLA.com that will free up other large-property developments from the extra level of scrutiny.
The prince's proposed estate drew international attention because his well-to-do neighbors, led by the wife of a billionaire investor, filed suit to stop the mega-mansion. They argued that allowing the various structures on 3 contingent parcels on Tower Lane was akin to building a Wal-Mart in Coldwater Canyon.
The neighborhood is a who's who of Hollywood and Los Angeles elite and the battle drew international headlines, including a notable feature in Vanity Fair:
The Appeals Court ruling, which was issued Friday, will make headlines again because of the names involved. But few people know that the lawsuit has actually impacted scores of other property owners, including many other Hollywood celebrities, well-to-do Angelenos and other developers of large lots in LA..
That's because since early 2012, the city's Planning and Building & Safety departments have required all developments on lots greater than 60,000 square feet to file an extra entitlement case to prove that their project wouldn't result in a de facto subdivision.
That requirement - known as a Waiver of Tentative Map or WTM - has added a couple months and several thousand dollars to scores of projects in the 2+ years since the city started the WTM process..
Now, with the Appeals Court ruling, those projects will not need the WTM review.