George Lucas of Star Wars fame has been struggling to build a big movie studio layout in Marin County, north of San Francisco, for decades. Now, 99% of the counties in the U.S. would be happy to have Lucasfilm create hundreds of mostly lavishly-paid jobs, but Marin is very much in the 1%. The Marin Independent-Journal reports:
Lucasfilm pulled the plug on its bid to develop the old Grady Ranch on Tuesday, citing bitter opposition from neighbors and regulatory delays, and said it intends to sell the land for a low-income subdivision development.
"The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners in Lucas Valley has convinced us that, even if we were to spend more time and acquire the necessary approvals, we would not be able to maintain a constructive relationship with our neighbors," the firm owned by billionaire filmmaker George Lucas added.
"We love working and living in Marin, but the residents of Lucas Valley have fought this project for 25 years, and enough is enough," ...
"We hope we will be able to find a developer who will be interested in low-income housing since it is scarce in Marin. If everyone feels that housing is less impactful on the land, then we are hoping that people who need it the most will benefit."
Take that NIMBYs! says George. He should check in with the Obama Administration, which says that Marin County is violating the Civil Rights Act by not building enough low-income housing for minorities. Marin County voters gave 78% of their vote to Obama in 2008, so they can hardly complain, right? So, think big, George: not semi-detached houses or condos, but Section 8!