“Jennifer Aniston leads fight against giga-mansions” in Beverly Hills

Even the wealthy don’t want “giga-mansions” in their neighborhood:

Her own $21 million (£13 million) Bel Air mansion covers a rather more modest 8500 square feet.

But it has been rapidly overtaken by a new trend for the giga-mansions. The ultra-wealthy are buying and bulldozing some of the area’s biggest villas, to build even bigger homes, filled with fountains, swimming pools and space for entertaining.

Opponents say they bring months of construction noise, threaten existing homes by destabilising the ground and that their huge size represents an invasion of privacy as they tower over neighbours.

Prince Abdul Aziz, a Saudi Arabian prince and deputy foreign minister of his country, is among the buyers to have angered neighbours. He bought a Spanish colonial residence from Jon Peters, the film producer behind Superman Returns and Man of steel, before promptly tearing it down and lodging plans for an 85,000-square-foot estate.

But the real fury is reserved for the 30,000-square-foot creation of Mohamed Hadid, a real estate developer and father of Gigi Hadid, the model.

Two quick thoughts:

1. These really are some large homes. They might work on larger pieces of property but not so well when neighbors are relatively close by. A 103 foot tall home is more like a 10 story skyscraper in a small size city than a welcomed member of a residential neighborhood.

2. This does invite questions about how large of a home is too large. A $21 million 8,500 square foot home in Beverly Hills is expensive and large by all measures. Presumably, the Los Angeles regulations allow for this size. But, how exactly does a municipality decide on the cut-off? The way around this in many communities that address teardowns is to insist on certain guidelines and styles that effectively limit the square footage.

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