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Ryan Kavanaugh, Hollywood Tycoon, Wants His Hotel-Top Helicopter Landing Pad in WeHo Back -- and His L.A. City Council, Sheriff Friends Do Too!

Oh, the lifestyles of the rich and famous. And of those with the misfortune of living beneath the noisy, whirly personal choppers of the rich and famous [Los Angeles Times].

See, Ryan Kavanaugh, head of Relativity Media, loves to fly. "I think about work 24 hours a day," he told the Hollywood Reporter. "But when you fly a helicopter, for that hour or two you can't think about anything else."

Sigh. Just call him "Limitless." But how's an all-important businessman to relax when his Beverly Boulevard studio has no landing pad of its own, and his 'copter parking space at the luxury hotel next door is pulled from under him by a ticked-off CalTrans?

The middle-to-upper-class residents who live below the four-star Sofitel -- self-described as "the hottest Los Angeles hotel, with stunning interiors featuring French style and Hollywood glamour" -- are predictably peeved, writes the Times.

"We didn't move next to an airport," WeHo [resident Ali] Behzad said. "We moved next to a hotel."

Lauren Meister, president of the West Hollywood West Residents Assn., said she's concerned that the flights could pose environmental and safety risks. ...

She said she moved to the neighborhood, like many residents, for both its proximity to city life and respite from it.

When Kavanaugh was outed for his diva landings atop the Sofitel back in November, according to his spokesman, he "stopped landing there immediately and he would not land anywhere in the city that does not have the correct and needed permits."

But what if the Sofitel did get its hands on said documents?

The towering WeHo hotel would need special permission from the CalTrans Division of Aeronautics. And those officials have already received an encouraging letter from L.A. City Councilman Paul Koretz, who's apparently confident that no residents will be bothered by Kavanugh's antics, and "comfortable with the granting of a temporary license while additional analysis is conducted on the permanent application." (Wonderful: So there's also a permanent app on the way.)

Not that a Los Angeles City Councilmember has any business supporting a private business interest. Especially when it affects neither his own quality of life nor the city he was elected to run, though Sofitel does lie a few feet outside WeHo limits.

L.A. County Sheriff Lee Baca wasn't far behind Koretz, writing a strange letter to the Sofitel that almost sounds as if he had a gun to his head (or, perhaps, a $156,000 gift from Kavanaugh in his Sheriff's Youth fund, as noted by the Times):

Ryan Kavanaugh, Hollywood Tycoon, Wants His Hotel-Top Helicopter Landing Pad in WeHo Back -- and His L.A. City Council, Sheriff Friends Do Too!
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Among other conflicts of interest involved are a "six-story supergraphic for Kavanaugh's film" on the side of the Sofitel (that would be for "Limitless").

So far, though, everything's just pending. We've contacted CalTrans and are waiting to hear back on their requisites for granting a helicopter landing permit. Stay tuned.

[@simone_electra/swilson@laweekly.com]


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