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Benedict Canyon residents fight Saudi prince’s gigantic compound

Photo of Saudi Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdulaziz al Saud Courtesy of Wikipedia
Photo of Saudi Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdulaziz al Saud Courtesy of Wikipedia

Benedict Canyon residents on Tuesday urged a Saudi prince who is planning to build a four-home compound in the area to conduct a full environmental review of the project, citing a state appeals court panel ruling that building permits should be withheld because the plans do not include a secondary fire access road.

The panel rejected arguments by developer Tower Lane Properties that the “project conforms with all applicable codes and ordinances.”

The panel found that “a secondary access road was a condition of Tower Lane’s approval,” but the prince’s plans do not contain the road.

Attorneys for the residents said Saudi Prince Abdulaziz ibn Abdulaziz al Saud should conduct an environmental review of the project, but Benjamin Reznik, the prince’s attorney, said the ruling does not necessarily mandate such a process, and he has the option of applying for a waiver.

The ruling came as a “a huge relief to the residents of Benedict Canyon,” resident Michael Eisenberg said.

Resident Nickie Miner said “if the prince wants to proceed any further, he needs to comply with the same environmental laws, fire and safety codes and other building requirements that we all have to follow.”

She added that with the ruling, “it’s time for the prince to participate in a public review process with the community and provide secondary access for vehicles or shelve this mega hillside compound.”

The plans as described in the court ruling call for “six retaining walls, four houses, three water features, two above ground garages and two auxiliary buildings, and (removal of) almost 1,000 cubic yards of earth.”

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