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Actor Tom Hulce leads homeowner battle against Laurel Canyon developer

August 10, 2012 |  3:41 pm

Actor Tom Hulce

A homeowners group led by actor Tom Hulce on Friday filed a lawsuit against the city of Los Angeles for failing to enforce development restrictions on a multi-home project in a Laurel Canyon wildlife corridor.

Building permits issued in 2009 for the project called for a permanent 20-foot wide conservation easement to be dedicated to the Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, according to the lawsuit brought by Concerned Residents of Stanley Hills Drive. The suit was filed against the city of Los Angeles and developer Yossi Attia.

The group claims it later learned that the city allowed the developer to proceed with construction of three 4,000-square-foot homes, but with a smaller conservation easement in what remains a thriving natural preserve interspersed with mansions and bungalows, many of them built in the 1920s.

The lawsuit asks that the court order the city, Attia and the real estate development company Stanley Hills LLC to honor the original conditions of the permits.

Attia was not immediately available for comment.

But in a telephone interview, Hulce, who lives near the development site, said, “All we want is enforcement of what was ruled by zoning administrators and agreed to by the developer.”

“The implications of what is going on are serious,” he said. “For example, retaining walls and fences put up around the construction site 10 months ago are blocking migration patterns of deer, bobcat and coyotes that have existed for centuries.”


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-- Louis Sahagun

Photo: Actor Tom Hulce in 1996. Credit: Jeff Vinnick / Reuters