Bel Air, Los Angeles

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Bel Air, Los Angeles

Bel Air
The Bel Air west gate at Sunset and Bellagio
Map of Bel Air neighborhood, Los Angeles, California.jpg
Boundaries of Bel Air as drawn by the Los Angeles Times
Location map Western Los Angeles.png
Red pog.svg
Bel Air, Los Angeles
Location within West Los Angeles
Coordinates: 34°05′00″N118°26′52″W / 34.08333°N 118.44778°W / 34.08333; -118.44778
Country Flag of the United States.svg  United States of America
State Flag of California.svg  California
County Flag of Los Angeles County, California.svg Los Angeles
Time zone Pacific

Bel Air (or Bel-Air) [fn 1] is a neighborhood on the Westside of Los Angeles, California, in the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. Founded in 1923, it is the home of The Hannah Carter Japanese Garden and the American Jewish University.

Santa Monica Mountains mountain range in Southern California, United States

The Santa Monica Mountains is a coastal mountain range in Southern California, paralleling the Pacific Ocean. It is part of the Transverse Ranges. Because of its proximity to densely populated regions, it is one of the most visited natural areas in California. Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area is located in this mountain range.

The Hannah Carter Japanese Garden is a private Japanese garden located in Bel Air, Los Angeles, California. Known as Shikyo-en when completed in 1961, it emphasizes water, stones, and evergreen plants. The naturalistic hillside site features streams, a waterfall, a tea house, and blooming magnolia and camellia trees. According to the Los Angeles Conservancy, the garden is among the largest and most significant private residential Japanese-style gardens built in the United States in the immediate Post-World War II period. The garden was donated to the University of California, Los Angeles in 1965 and open to the public until 2011. Following a legal dispute with Hannah Carter's children, it was sold to a private citizen in 2016.

American Jewish University American university

American Jewish University (AJU), formerly the separate institutions University of Judaism and Brandeis-Bardin Institute, is a Jewish institution in Los Angeles, California.



The 2000 U.S. census counted 7,691 residents in the 6.37-square-mile (16.5 km2) Bel Air neighborhood; with 1,207 per square mile (466/km2) it has among the lowest population densities for the city and the county. In 2008, the city estimated that the population had increased to 8,253.

In 2000 the median age for residents was 46, which was high for city and county neighborhoods. The percentages of residents aged 50 and older was among the county's highest. [4]

The median yearly household income in 2008 was $207,938, the highest figure for any neighborhood or city in Los Angeles County. Renters occupied 14.5% of the housing stock, and house- or apartment-owners held 85.5%. The average household size of 2.4 people was considered typical for Los Angeles. [4]

City Large and permanent human settlement

A city is a large human settlement. Cities generally have extensive systems for housing, transportation, sanitation, utilities, land use, and communication. Their density facilitates interaction between people, government organizations and businesses, sometimes benefiting different parties in the process.

The 4.1% of families headed by single parents was considered low for city and county neighborhoods. The percentages of married people in Bel Air were among the county's highest—66.0% for men and 65.7% for women. There were 808 veterans, or 12.9% of the population. [4] [5]

The neighborhood was considered "not especially diverse" ethnically [6] within Los Angeles, with a relatively high percentage of white people. The breakdown was whites, 83.0%; Asians, 8.2%; Latinos, 4.6%; blacks, 0.9%; and others, 3.2%. Iran (26.1%) and South Africa (8.2%) were the most common places of birth for the 24.1% of the residents who were born abroad—which was an average percentage for Los Angeles as a whole. [4]

Hispanic Americans and Latino Americans are Americans who are descendants of people from Spain and Latin America, respectively. More generally, it includes all Americans who speak the Spanish language natively, and who self-identify as Hispanic or Latino, whether of full or partial ancestry. For the 2010 United States Census, people counted as "Hispanic" or "Latino" were those who identified as one of the specific Hispanic or Latino categories listed on the census questionnaire as well as those who indicated that they were "other Spanish, Hispanic or Latino." The national origins classified as Hispanic or Latino by the United States Census Bureau are the following: Argentine, Cuban, Colombian, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Mexican, Costa Rican, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan, Panamanian, Salvadoran, Bolivian, Spanish American, Chilean, Ecuadorian, Paraguayan, Uruguayan, and Venezuelan. Brazilian Americans, other Portuguese-speaking Latino groups, and non-Spanish speaking Latino groups in the United States are solely defined as "Latino" by some U.S. government agencies. The Census Bureau uses the terms Hispanic and Latino interchangeably.


The community was founded in 1923 by Alphonzo Bell. Bell owned farm property in Santa Fe Springs, California, where oil was discovered. He bought a large ranch with a home on what is now Bel Air Road. He subdivided and developed the property with large residential lots, with work on the master plan led by the landscape architect Mark Daniels. [7] He also built the Bel-Air Beach Club in Santa Monica and the Bel-Air Country Club. His wife chose Italian names for the streets. She also founded the Bel-Air Garden Club in 1931. [8]

Together with Beverly Hills and Holmby Hills, Bel Air forms the Platinum Triangle of Los Angeles neighborhoods. [9]


On November 6, 1961, a fire ignited and devastated the community of Bel Air destroying 484 homes in the area. On December 6, 2017, a fire started by a homeless encampment burned in the same area destroying six homes.


Bel Air is situated about 12 miles (19 km) west of Downtown Los Angeles [10] and includes some of the foothills of the Santa Monica Mountains. It lies across Sunset Boulevard from the northern edge of the main campus of the University of California, Los Angeles. At the heart of the community sits the Bel-Air Country Club and the Hotel Bel-Air.[ citation needed ]

Along with Beverly Hills and the Los Angeles community of Brentwood, Bel Air it is part of a high-priced area on the Westside known as the "three Bs", [11] [12] [13]


This region experiences warm and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above 71.6 °F (22.0 °C). According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Bel Air has a warm-summer Mediterranean climate, abbreviated "Csb" on climate maps. [14]


Of several entrances, there are two main ones: (1) the East Gate at Beverly Glen and Sunset Boulevards and (2) the West Gate at Bellagio Way and Sunset Boulevard, opposite an entrance to UCLA. Bel Air is generally subdivided into three distinct neighborhoods: East Gate Old Bel Air, West Gate Bel Air, and Upper Bel Air.[ citation needed ]

Bel Air Estates, the original subdivision of the Bel Air community, is generally bounded by Nimes Road to the north, Sunset Boulevard to the south, Beverly Glen Boulevard to the east and both sides of Bel Air Road to the west. [15]


The Hannah Carter Japanese Garden is located in Bel Air. It was inspired by the gardens of Kyoto. Many structures in the garden—the main gate, garden house, bridges, and shrine—were built in Japan and reassembled here. Antique stone carvings, water basins and lanterns, as well as the five-tiered pagoda, and key symbolic rocks are also from Japan. [16]

Television and film

Television shows and films have been filmed in Bel Air, or are said to take place in the community. Exterior shots for the Beverly Hillbillies were shot in and around 750 Bel Air Road, [17] built by Lynn Atkinson (and later sold to hotelier Arnold Kirkeby after Atkinson's wife refused to move into a house she thought too ostentatious). After the exterior shooting was completed, the residents of that address forbade any more filming, as passers-by would wander onto the property and ask to see 'Granny'.

Exterior scenes from films such as Get Shorty have also been filmed in the area.[ citation needed ] Several episodes of the television show The Rockford Files were filmed in Bel Air. [18]

The television sitcom The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air was set in the neighborhood, although the exterior shots used were filmed in nearby Brentwood. [19]

The Bel Air Film Festival, first held in 2008, [20] is an annual international film festival held in Bel Air and the Los Angeles area.

Government and infrastructure

The Los Angeles County Department of Health Services SPA 5 West Area Health Office serves Bel Air. [21]

It lies within the 5th city council district, represented by Paul Koretz. It is located in the 90077 (Bel Air Estates & Beverly Glen) ZIP code, which is part of the city of Los Angeles. Stone Canyon Reservoir lies in the northeastern part of Bel Air. Established in 1994, it serves around 500,000 people. The Bel Air Association has been operational since 1942, dedicated to preserving the aesthetic appearance of the residential community. The Bel Air Association is located at the entrance of the East Gate of Bel Air at 100 Bel Air Road. [22]

Emergency services

Fire services

Los Angeles Fire Department Station 71 is in the area. [23]

Police services

The Los Angeles Police Department operates the West Los Angeles Community Police Station at 1663 Butler Avenue, 90025, serving the neighborhood. [24]


The American Jewish University, located in the Bel Air Casiano neighborhood. American Jewish University, Bel Air, California.JPG
The American Jewish University, located in the Bel Air Casiano neighborhood.

Almost two-thirds (66.1%) of Bel Air residents aged 25 and older had earned a four-year degree by 2000, a high percentage for the city and the county. The percentages of residents in that age range with a bachelor's degree or greater were high for the county. [4] The community is within the Los Angeles Unified School District. The area is within Board District 4. [25] As of 2009, Steve Zimmer represented the district. [26]


The schools within Bel Air are as follows: [27]


  • Roscomare Road Elementary School, 2425 Roscomare Road [28]
  • Community Magnet Charter Elementary School, 11301 Bellagio Road. As of 2010 because the school's point-based admissions system does not favor area residents, children living in Bel Air generally do not attend the school. [29] It is located in the former Bellagio Road School campus. [30]

Roscomare Road and Warner Avenue Elementary School in Westwood are the zoned elementary schools serving Bel Air. [28] [31] Bel Air is within the attendance boundaries of Emerson Middle School in Westwood and University High School, West Los Angeles. [31]

In April 1983 an advisory committee of the LAUSD recommended closing eight LAUSD schools, including Bellagio Road School. The committee did not target Fairburn Avenue School in Westwood, as a way of allowing it to preserve its ethnic balance, and so it can take children from Bellagio Road in the event that it closed. [32] In August 1983 the board publicly considered closing Bellagio, which had 240 students at the time. [33] The school's enrollment had been decreasing. In May 1983 the board voted to keep the school open. In February 1984, after the composition of the board had changed, the board voted to close the Bellagio Road School. [34]

Bel Air previously housed the Bellagio Road Newcomer School, a 3rd–8th grade school for newly arrived immigrants. In 2002 it had 390 students from Armenia, China, El Salvador, Guatemala, Korea, Russia, and other countries. [35] This program was housed in the former Bellagio Road school. [36]



Bel Air is home to the American Jewish University. [40]

Notable people

See also


  1. West Los Angeles Realty [1] and the Los Angeles Times use Bel-Air [2] while the Thomas Guide for[ clarify ] uses Bel Air Estates. [3]

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Coordinates: 34°05′00″N118°26′52″W / 34.08333°N 118.44778°W / 34.08333; -118.44778