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Insiders”™ Look At Mt. Olympus
Posted by Joann Deutch on Oct 26, 2008 - 11:51:02 AM

Ever wonder about the sign at the base of Laurel Canyon that welcomes you to Mt. Olympus? It would not be a reach to assume that the area was named after the Mount Olympus in Greece. With names like Hercules and Venus Drive, it doesn’t leave much wiggle room does it? The original Mount Olympus is the highest mountain and the home to the Gods of Greek mythology.  Geographers would squabble about the name of our Mt. Olympus.  They require a geographical formation to have a rise of 305 meters, or 1,000.656 feet. In the case of our Mount Olympus, we have a teensy problem. Sunset Boulevard is at 500 feet and Mulholland is at 1,000 feet.  Even the “math challenged” would recognize the problem. Soooo,  do we lobby to strip the Mount appellation?  Olympus Hillock then?  Would the new, more diminutive name decrease the value of the real estate?


You have to just love the Hollywood mentality.  The developers just threw out the technical, and went with the sweeping gesture that matched the grand vista of the Los Angeles basin from the hillside.  I couldn’t even find that the peak in Mount Olympus has a name.  How did that escape the developers in a time when everyone who was anyone was naming streets after themselves?  There is a Gene Autry Ridge and a Kirkwood Bowl. What happened?




So what’s the deal with living in Mt. Olympus?  The 300-acre development had its ground breaking on June 28, 1963.  It promised homes priced at $150,000. Those houses are now selling for between $1.5 and $2 million. Take a drive though the community.  There are restricted entrances and lots of dead ends.  You’ll need to be a pro to get through to Mulholland.  That road is so windy; it’s hardly worth the effort.


What’s remarkable about Mt. Olympus is that it is now a “planned community.”  Since 1983 it has operated by a Property Owners Association.  That’s like living in a condo.  The homeowners pay dues, and there is a board that takes care of the day-to-day operations of the general community.  They take care of the entrance signs, they monitor street maintenance, and you’d better believe they monitor the building that goes on the community. Forget making any improvements without a permit. You’ll get busted.  Don’t plan on having your extra car or mobile home parked out front.  Your kids will NOT be congregating on the street to hang out.  You will be paying ADT to patrol the area in a 24-hour dedicated car.  The community will not be fixing your roof, or water lines, but they will be sure that you take care of it.  I was surprised to learn that the Property Owners Association actually files and records with the County Assessor’s Office complaints against truculent homeowners.  It will show up on the title.  Now there’s an incentive!

If you love Greek Revival architecture, want your streets clean as a whistle and detest potholes, living in Mt. Olympus is your slice of heaven.  Your dream even comes with a manual at


Cliffside Malibu




Serving Bel Air, Benedict Canyon, Beverly Hills. Brentwood, Laurel Canyon, Los Feliz, Malibu, Pacific Palisades, Melrose, Santa Monica, Sherman Oaks, Studio City, Topanga, Canyon, Westwood & Hollywood Hills.