In the Bel Air neighborhood in Los Angeles—an area known for playing host to some of Hollywood’s big stars—are crying foul over their a wave of construction going on in the ritzy neighborhood. The problem is the new residences being built are dwarfing even their sizable homes and making them look small by comparison.
Many of the older residences in Bel Air are luxury homes that fall under the “mansion” category, and often they are very, very large homes that have been nicknamed “Mega Mansions” because their square footage is closer to 10000 than five. Jennifer Anniston, for instance, a Bel Air resident, and one of chief celebrities lodging a complaint, lives in an 8500 foot home. That impressive scale is being shown up by what are now called “Giga Mansions,” that break the 10000 foot barrier and can reach anywhere from 30000 to 90000 feet in size. Essentially becoming decadent, enclosed worlds with every excess you can imagine from multiple swimming pools and garages, to purpose-built rooms for extremely narrow functions, like a “candy room.”
While it seems like a case of the rich and famous feeling slighted by the even more rich and more famous, there are some issues at play here that anyone can relate to. One of the biggest headaches is the fact that these mega-mansions are a fad, and thus a lot of these projects are going on simultaneously. Imagine if someone decided—without notifying you in the least—that multiple shopping malls were being constructed in your neighborhood. For the next several months—or even couple of years—you would have to deal with all the noise, clutter and general distraction of massive construction fleet going to work in different parts of your neighborhood. People that take up residence in luxury areas like Bel Air have done so generally for the privacy, inaccessibility and quiet. Fad construction projects like a few Giga Mansions going up in the neighborhood obviously negate all these selling points.
All may not be lost for these out-of-sort celebrities as there may still be some legal option available to them to curb the Giga Mansion plague of Bel Air. Appeals to zoning commissioners may convince them to change the zoning laws and simply make it illegal to build structures of that size, while the great American tradition of litigation is always a good stand-by, letting resident sue on the grounds of public nuisance or health hazard reasons.
Whatever the case, it does show one thing; even the biggest fish in the ponds can have their world turned upside down when the whales show up.