The oversized house at 16769 Marquez Ave. (corner of Ida), which appears to be four stories high while violating setback requirements, continues to generate controversy. One neighbor has described the house as “Westminster Abbey in the middle of a coastal neighborhood.”
Neighbors have reached out repeatedly to Councilman Mike Bonin’s office about the project. On March 25, CTN contacted Bonin’s spokesperson David Graham-Caso to see if the Councilman has taken a position on the house. (If there is a response the story will be updated.)
The Community Council’s Land Use Committee presented its initial findings at tonight’s council meeting. At a prior meeting, Land Use Chair Howard Robinson said that the height is allowed by current City standards.
CTN emailed Robinson and PPCC Chair David Card about the builder’s failure to (1) have proper front and rear setbacks, (2) not adhering to the encroachment plan and (3) the developer falsifying his permit.
Card responded, “Howard is on vacation. The interim report that accompanied the Agenda (on our PPCC webpage) will be presented briefly by Chris Spitz. Tonight (March 25) is not a long public hearing on this matter, it’s a brief interim report by a LUC member to get facts out to the public. A full report at a public LUC meeting will be coming at a time to be determined as the issues continue to be researched.”
In regards to the building permit, developer Hamid Hajmomenian stated that he was “a homeowner that has resided in the residence for at least 12 months prior to the completion of the work described in the permit.”
Neighbors said that Hajmomenian never lived at the Marquez address, that he owns several homes including one on Kenter in Brentwood.
In the Owner-Builder Declaration, Hajmomenian affirms under penalty of perjury that, “the structure is not intended or offered for sale” and again “such improvements are not intended or offered for sale.”
On March 7, the City put a stop order on construction until a hearing could be held on March 17.
According to the L.A Department of Building and Safety website, corrections were issued on March 22 and the applicant had to address these corrections by March 25. But the site does not give the corrections issued. (CTN contacted City officials and will update the story when we receive a reply.)
Neighbors were concerned about the apparent absence of a pole generally used for electricity that is used during construction. One neighbor sent a photo of electrical wires tied to scaffolding in early March that was deemed unsafe by DWP and later removed.
Wires were then attached to a tree, according to a second photo sent by a different neighbor on March 14.
In response, one resident wrote to City officials that “This wood-framed construction is a potential fire hazard and your immediate attention to addressing this new violation is critical!”
Additionally, the City Planning Department routinely stamps “Coastal approval” for homes that are in the Coastal Zone. A neighbor asked, “Is the Coastal Development Permit (DIR-2016-2566-CDP-MEL) issued to the owner of 16796 Marquez Ave. void because it was not used within the specified time frame?”
The building permit was issued in May 2016 and construction did not start until January 2020 with the demolition of the existing house.
According to the Coastal Commission, “A permit which has not been used within the time specified in the permit, or, if no time is specified, within two years after the granting of the permit, shall become void and a Coastal Development Permit shall automatically cease to be in effect if the use for which the permit was granted has ceased or has been suspended for a consecutive period of two or more years.”