An enclosed 9,000-square-foot basketball gym was approved for the Ball family home in the Oak Tree Downs gated community by the Chino Hills Planning Commission May 5 with the provision that it may not be used as a business.
Steven Woods, representing property owner Lonzo Ball, assured the commission that the building will be used for personal recreation only.
The Ball family is known for the basketball fame of three brothers Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo.
In November 2019, the city of Chino Hills issued a stop work order after a complaint was received that the facility was being illegally constructed.
The city’s code enforcement division investigated and learned that the gym was under construction without permits.
A tennis court had been demolished to make way for the facility and the footings and slab were underway when the project was halted.
“The demolition of the tennis court did not require permits, however the footings and slabs for the gym required permits and inspections,” said community development director Joann Lombardo.
Staff requested building permits, structural details, a precise grading permit and a soils report to address the partially constructed items and the remainder of the project.
“This was a mess two years ago and you guys came in and saved the family,” Mr. Woods told the planning commission during the online meeting. “The Ball family had a contractor they had to fire and now they’re on track.”
Commissioners expressed concern that potential large gatherings at the facility would have an impact on the neighborhood.
Chairman Mike Stover asked how the family intended to use the facility.
“For personal use only,” said Mr. Woods. “I’m running the project now so anything you want will be done in that way.”
He said the Ball brothers need a private place to train without getting mobbed.
The large family includes parents, grandparents and great grandparents who enjoy watching the brothers play, he said.
Chino Hills assistant city attorney Elizabeth Calciano advised the commission to add a condition of approval that the building is approved for personal recreational use only, and not as a commercial training center or venture.
“I agree 100 percent,” Mr. Woods said.
The 12,975-square-foot, three-story home was built on three acres in Carbon Canyon in 2005. It includes eight bedrooms, seven baths, an elevator, movie theatre, weight room, guest house, greenhouse, pool house, chef’s kitchen, game and media rooms.
Total square footage, including the on-site structures, is 16,755 square feet, according to the staff report.
The home was built and formerly owned by the Richard King family who still resides in Chino Hills.