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Neighbors of actor Shia LaBeouf win OK to wall out paparazzi

November 1, 2011 |  4:08 pm

Actor Shia LaBeouf at the Four Season's Hotel earlier this year. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

The Los Angeles City Council voted Tuesday to let a Sherman Oaks couple keep a seven-foot wall on their property after they complained that Hollywood paparazzi had repeatedly trespassed while searching for the residence of actor Shia LaBeouf.

Councilman Paul Koretz persuaded his colleagues to overturn two decisions -– first by a zoning administrator, then by the South Valley Area Planning Commission -- denying approval of the block wall, which was erected on Deervale Drive by Joe and Orit Picker.

Koretz said photographers who entered the Pickers’ property “could get a great shot of the patio where Shia LaBeouf could be eating breakfast” next door. He said that most of the neighbors already have overly tall fences and walls.

“It almost seemed like it was required to have one to live in the neighborhood,” he said.

The wall on Deervale Drive stands at 6 feet 6 inches but is a foot taller once light fixtures are included, according to the report submitted to the council. Fences and walls are typically limited to 3 feet 6 inches on residential streets, Koretz said.

Koretz’s efforts upset some in the neighborhood, who said paparazzi had not been in the neighborhood for more than a year. They said the wall had been installed without city permits and warned that the council’s actions would set a precedent that would allow more overly tall security walls to go up.

“This wall is totally out of character with what is going on in this street,” said neighbor Elke Heitmeyer.

One Sherman Oaks resident said the wall stood in marked contrast to more sensitive security measures taken by LaBeouf himself. The actor, who appeared in the "Transformer" movies, put up “a nice tasteful fence,” said wall critic Harriet Diamond.

On an 11-0 vote, the council determined that the wall was “crucial” to the Pickers’ security. The project also must be reviewed by the Department of Building and Safety and the Board of Public Works, Koretz said.


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-- David Zahniser at Los Angeles City Hall

Photo: Actor Shia LaBeouf at the Four Seasons Hotel earlier this year. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times