Johnny Depp sues to guard view from Hollywood Hills home

"Pirates of the Caribbean" star Johnny Depp has crossed swords with city officials over a proposed Sunset Strip commercial development Depp says would block the scenic view from part of his Hollywood Hills estate.

The actor contends in a lawsuit that the city of West Hollywood violated environmental quality laws by approving the development with retail shops, a restaurant and a parking structure on a lot beneath his gated, 2.5-acre (one-hectare) property.

Depp also argues that the project would block the view his two children have while playing on a terrace outside the 7,430-square-foot (669-square-meter) home.

The development would rise about 45 feet (13.5 meters) above the famous Sunset Strip. Its roof would be about 40 feet (12 meters) below Depp's home, but the building would still block views from a portion of the backyard terrace, which is down the hill from the house.

Those behind the development argue that Depp has declared that the youngsters Lily-Rose, 6, and Jack, 4 will be raised in France, where he and French actress and singer Vanessa Paradis also have a home.

Developer Joseph Emrani of Venice Investments, who is a partner in the project with his brother, Youdi Emrani, said he had challenged Depp's representatives.

"They said, 'The kids are playing over there and they don't want it to block their view.' I mentioned that his children live in Paris, and one of them said, 'That's very personal and we don't want to get involved with that,' " Joseph Emrani said.

Depp's attorney declined to discuss the case.

A Los Angeles County Superior Court judge ruled against Depp last year. The case is being appealed on his behalf by his sister, Christi Dembrowski, who is also Depp's personal assistant and president of his film production company, reports AP.

O.Ch.