Report: Judge Requests More Briefing on Bel-Air Bay Club Repair Dispute

The Bel-Air Bay Club Argues That Proposed Repairs Are Exempt From Requiring a Permit

According to a report from City News Service, a judge requested additional briefing regarding a petition by members of the Bel-Air Bay Club seeking permission from the California Coastal Commission to perform repairs to their facility without a coastal development permit.

The Bel-Air Bay Club Ltd. has filed a legal action in Los Angeles Superior Court, arguing that heavy winter rains in 2023 caused significant damage to their facility, and the proposed repairs are exempt from requiring a permit under the state Public Resources Code.

However, the Attorney General’s Office contends that in the past 30 years, the Coastal Commission has approved a disaster exemption related to storm-related wave action only twice, CNS reported.

Judge Stephen I. Goorvitch heard arguments on May 1 and took the matter under submission. On Tuesday, he granted a request by club attorneys to file supplemental briefing regarding the standard of review. A briefing schedule was set, with the judge planning to decide on June 10 whether to hold another hearing or take the case under submission again.

The club’s petition states that their concrete lanai, built in 1950, was heavily damaged during the January 2023 storms, according to CNS. The lanai provides substantial revenue during the summer by serving food and drinks to visitors. The club asserts that they only seek to restore the lanai to its prior condition, not to expand or change its use.

“The storm’s combination of heavy rainfall, high wind gusts of up to 50 mph, and dangerous surf created massive wave action that eroded the compacted sand underneath the lanai structure,” the petition states.

in Hard, News
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