Bel Air is situated about 17 miles west of downtown Los Angeles and includes some of the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. It borders the north side of UCLA along Sunset Boulevard. At the heart of the community sits the exclusive Bel Air Country Club and the Hotel Bel-Air. It is bordered by Brentwood on the west and southwest, Westwood on the south, Beverly Hills Post Office on the east and Sherman Oaks on the north.
Residences in Bel Air tend to be private and hidden from the winding roads of the community. Most houses are not visible from the street, as they are hidden by well-manicured hedges and gates. Residences range from modest ranch style houses to multi-story configurations to grand mansions. While some houses in Bel Air seem quite modest from the outside, often lying only six feet from the street, they have large grounds. In general, the higher up the mountain, the smaller the building lots and the more modest the houses. However, those residences along roads such as Stradella Road have magnificent views of the Los Angeles basin and Catalina Island. The most desireable houses are right off the main entrances of Bel Air and the country club entrance because these houses have both the views of the Bel Air Country Club and the rest of Los Angeles. Lower Bel Air houses can sell for over $50 million. Many families prefer lower Bel Air because of its proximity to Sunset Boulevard, a major thoroughfare.
Multi-family housing is not permitted within the community and strict ordinances regarding architectural styles, landscaping and lot sizes exist to preserve the quality of life and character of Bel Air. Unlike Beverly Hills, Bel Air has no residential sidewalks in attempts to discourage the public from walking around the community. Bel Air is heavily patrolled by local security companies to reinforce safety and privacy of its residences.
Additionally, another major factor in making the Bel Air community highly desirable is the excellent elementary school, Warner Avenue Elementary. It is also supported by Emerson Middle School and University High School. Many notable private schools are in the area such as John Thomas Dye School (K-6), Marrymount High School, Westland School (K-6), Berkeley Hall (K-8), Stephen S. Wise Temple Elementary (K-6), Milken Community High School (7-12) and The Mirman School (K-8).
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