THE NEWS BLOG

 
Steve and Jen bring you this daily review of the news
Premium Advertiser

News Blog Sponsors

News Links

BBC World Service
The Guardian
Independent
Washington Post
Newsday
Iraq Order of Battle
Agonist
NY Times
LA Times
ABC News
CNN
Blogger

 
Blogs We Like

Daily Kos
Atrios
Digby's Blog
Skippy
Operation Yellow Elephant
Iraq Casualty Count
Uggabugga
Media Matters
Talking Points
Defense Tech
Intel Dump
Soldiers for the Truth
Margaret Cho
Juan Cole
Tbogg
Corrente
Gropinator
Just a Bump in the Beltway
Baghdad Burning
Wonkette
Howard Stern
Michael Moore
James Wolcott
Cooking for Engineers
There is No Crisis
Whiskey Bar
Rude Pundit
Driftglass
At-Largely
Crooks and Liars
Amazin' Avenue
DC Media Girl
The Server Logs

 
Blogger Credits

Powered by Blogger

Archives by
Publication Date
August 2003
September 2003
October 2003
November 2003
December 2003
January 2004
February 2004
March 2004
April 2004
May 2004
June 2004
July 2004
August 2004
September 2004
October 2004
November 2004
December 2004
January 2005
February 2005
March 2005
April 2005
May 2005
June 2005
July 2005
August 2005
September 2005
October 2005
November 2005
December 2005
January 2006
February 2006
March 2006
April 2006
May 2006
June 2006
July 2006
August 2006
September 2006
October 2006
November 2006
December 2006
January 2007
February 2007
Comments Credits
Comments by YACCS
Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Life among the petty


A really expensive treehouse



Not in My Neighbor's Backyard
By Martha Groves, Times Staff Writer

The mansionization battle rustling the leaves of North Barrington Avenue is something new even for Brentwood.

It's a dispute not over a 12,000-square-foot neo-Tudor monster or a towering modernist cube, but over a backyard treehouse for an 18-month-old girl.

This being Brentwood, of course, the edifice at issue is no ordinary treehouse.

When Les Firestein, a television producer, and his wife, Gwyn Lurie, a screenwriter, wanted to do something really special for their daughter, Sydney, they enlisted their friend Roderick Wolgamott Romero.

Romero is a renowned builder of elaborate treehouses for such celebrities as Sting and Donna Karan. His work can be found in the "fantasy gift" section of this year's Neiman Marcus holiday catalog. Beginning price: $50,000.

In the backyard of the Firestein-Lurie home, which sits on a tree-studded half-acre north of Sunset Boulevard, Romero and his buddies built a roughly 10-foot-by-10-foot structure of reclaimed wood, salvaged windows and vintage stained glass from Buenos Aires that would quicken the heart of any fun-loving child or parent. The treehouse includes a viewing deck bordered by a railing crafted from tree branches from the backyard.

In return, Romero asked for a week's worth of lodging and all the Baja Fresh meals he could eat. With his tattooed arms and braided, knee-length hair swept up under a tweed cap, Romero and his pals worked for days, even in the rain.

Richard Fleming, the couple's next-door neighbor and a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, was not amused.

He feared that children could perch in this aerie and look in on him and his wife in their backyard pool and hot tub. He suspected, also, that city codes had been violated.

Enter the city of Los Angeles. As the treehouse neared completion last Thursday, city inspector Thomas Sze arrived on the Firestein-Lurie doorstep, responding, he told them, to an anonymous complaint.

"Oh, that's big," Lurie said he told them after looking at the treehouse and the much larger platform on which it rested. Sze also expressed concern about the structure's safety. On Friday, he delivered a written order that all work be halted.

"We're requiring plans and permits if [they] want to continue," Dave Keim, the city's chief of code enforcement, said in an interview Tuesday. "We'll work with them to try to legalize this…. It's not going to be easy."

The city does not require permits for nonhabitable structures less than 8 feet square, but Keim said the treehouse exceeds that size and therefore requires city permission. Firestein and Lurie can appeal whether a permit is required.
Wow. Whatever happened to talking to one's neighbors like adults

posted by Steve @ 10:55:00 AM

10:55:00 AM

The News Blog home page





 

Editorial Staff
RSS-XML Feeds

Add to My AOL

Support The News Blog

Amazon Honor System Click Here to Pay Learn More
News Blog Food Blog
Visit the News Blog Food Blog
The News Blog Shops
 
 
 
Operation Yellow Elephant
Enlist, Young Republicans