LOS ANGELES (AP/CBSLA.com) — People who live near the Hollywood sign are opposing a winemaker’s plan to build an estate next to a vineyard he planted years ago above their homes.
The Los Angeles Times reports Kenneth York intends to build an 8,000-square-foot mansion, a guest house, a pool, a tennis court and “wine caves” next to six acres of grapes he planted in 2001.
KNX 1070’s Ed Mertz reports wine made at the vineyard sells for $200 a bottle, according to The Times.
The Glendora ophthalmologist needs waivers from the city for the massive amount of grading he needs to do on a steep section of Mt. Lee before construction can begin.
Neighbors said they’re worried the work — which also includes building a third-of-a-mile-long road — will cause years of dust and noise, and that the land in the Hollywood Hills should remain undeveloped.
“It would totally change the character of the Hollywood hillside forever,” said City Councilman Tom LaBonge, who represents the neighborhoods beneath the Hollywood sign.
He said $12.5 million in public money and private donations was spent in 2010 to prevent development of Mt. Lee’s Cahuenga Peak, which is directly above the vineyard.
Neighbors also complained that the vineyard produced runoff, damaging two homes, in February 2008 and that a noisy refrigerator truck sits outside York’s home during harvest season. York’s wine website sells Cabernet Sauvignon for $200 per bottle.
“I’ve asked to meet with him in the field, he chose not to, ’cause I’d like to see what his vision is,” LaBonge said.
York’s lawyer said neighbors and city officials have known about the plans for years.
A request from KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO for comment from York was not immediately returned.
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