Celebrity Developer To Be Sentenced For Bel-Air Mansion Violations

VAN NUYS (CBSLA.com) – Sentencing is scheduled Thursday for a famed luxury-home developer — better known as the father of models Bella and Gigi Hadid — who pleaded no contest to misdemeanor charges stemming from the construction of a 30,000-square-foot Bel-Air mansion that city officials said violated building permits.

Mohamed Hadid, 68, pleaded no contest May 30 to misdemeanor counts of building a non-permitted structure, failing to bring the building into conformance and failing to comply with an order issued by the city Department of Building and Safety.

“These were serious violations,” City Attorney Mike Feuer said at the time. “It was essential to hold the defendant accountable for committing them. We have building and safety rules for a reason and no one is above the law. At the sentencing hearing we’ll make our case for strong and appropriate sanctions.”

According to a proposed sentencing memorandum prepared by the City Attorney’s Office, city prosecutors are asking that Hadid be placed on three years’ probation and ordered to perform 200 hours of community labor and pay $3,000 in fines. Prosecutors are also calling for him to pay $250,000 into a community improvement fund.

Hadid may also be asked to post a bond that would cover the city’s cost of demolishing the mansion if it is not brought into compliance with city building permits.

The city demanded that Hadid stop construction on the mansion three years ago, saying the structure on Strada Vecchia Road was being built larger and taller than the city had authorized. City officials also said the building included a series of unapproved features, including concrete decks, retaining walls, basements, stairways and even a subterranean IMAX theater.

City officials pulled Hadid’s building permits and issued stop-work orders, but construction continued anyway.

Hadid has been pushing for more time to revise the plans for the building, and it remains unclear if the mansion could ever be brought into compliance, particularly since the city has since imposed even tougher construction standards on buildings in Bel-Air. Under those rules, houses bigger than 17,500 square feet must undergo a more rigorous review that requires environmental studies and can include a public hearing.

Hadid has scoffed at the suggestion of tearing the mansion down.

“Demolish this house? Never!” he was quoted in Town and Country Magazine as saying. “This house will last forever. Bel-Air will fall before this will.”

(©2017 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)

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