Marin-ites who opposed a Lucasfilm project discover that the perfect is the enemy of the good

George Lucas lives in Marin.  Since he clearly hates to commute, he wanted to create a very beautiful movie studio on abandoned ranch land north of San Rafael.  Both Marin NIMBYs and Marin regulators were up in arms.  How dare George try to sully the pastoral beauty of that area.  George Lucas is apparently one p****d off guy because, not only has he abandoned a project that would have created a beautiful structure and brought some real money into Marin, he’s done it with a giant slap in the face to the NIMBYs:

Lucasfilm pulled the plug on its bid to develop the old Grady Ranch Tuesday, citing bitter opposition from neighbors and regulatory delays, and said it intends to sell the land for a low-income subdivision development.

Saying it was withdrawing the project “with great sadness,” Lucasfilm added it will build the production studio facilities it needs elsewhere.

The stunning move cheered project foes who called the ranch site near their homes the wrong place for a film production studio with a footprint the size of two football fields. But county officials and business interests were devastated, noting the project promised to energize the Marin economy, providing millions in revenue and hundreds of jobs.

Yeah, I’ll trade a gorgeous campus and millions of dollars for suburban sprawl any day.  NOT.

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. says

    I want to say “Unbelievable”, but I can’t…..
    If you’ve lived in Cali(freaking)fornia, it’s all too believeable!!
    I hope he finds someone who will build a giant section 8 apartment complex next door to those dog-in-the-manger neighbors of his……

  2. says

    Lucas Shrugged. Good. He and the rest of the business people being run out of California should look around–it’s a big country, with a lot of nice places and nice people willing to welcome what’s in their own best interest AND the interests of the innovators, creators, and developers–that’s capitalism. It still lives outside of California.

  3. MacG says

    They’ll fight that too but the political pressure for low income housing is pretty great.  What better place to put “them” but out of sight in some valley.

    I know people out there and they were complaining about the traffic since Lucas put in his two other properties and how bad it would be with this third one.  Now they will have residential commute traffic to deal with.  Probably the same volume of cars but a greater impact on county infrastructure e.g. sewer and water without hte benefit if regular business taxes, fees etc.  Sure there will be  property taxes but I doubt it will match the taxes contributed by Lucas and all of the employees.

    Really if you look at the time line the residents pushed back, a project was apporved but State regs changed in that time and the studies to ’restore’ the creeks would have pushed the project beyond the deadline.  It was a combinatoin of forces that resisted The Force.  I wonder what trilogy will be next?

  4. says

    “Lucas shrugged”…..LOVE that!!
    California is about to find out what happens when you commit to feed giant voracious public-sector unions for life, and simultaneously drive out the wealthy individuals and the businesses that pay the taxes you need to stay afloat.
    I just wish I were WATCHING all this from somewhere safe……

  5. says

    This just in:

    “When April 15 rolls around this year, taxpayers may take some small comfort in the fact that taxes are by no means a modern invention. Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain both famously remarked about the certainty of death and taxes, and a recent archaeological discovery concerning ancient taxes in Jerusalem has added to scholars’ certainty about a tax system in ancient Israel, especially during the reign of Judah’s King Manasseh.”

    Not a new problem, folks….. Heh.

  6. MacG says

    “he implemented heavy taxes on his people in order to pay tribute to King Esarhaddon and then King Ashurbanipal, Sennacherib’s successors in Assyria” Earl, these taxes sound a lot like ‘protection’ money paid to certain ‘organizations’ that operated in ‘union’… Is it true that the Mormons have geneologically traced Chicago’s roots to the Assyrians?

    As another part of the Tencach says “There is nothing new under the sun”.

  7. Tonestaple says

    I think Lucas would be much more comfortable in the Seattle area – no political dissent allowed, plus, please excuse me for saying so, it’s much prettier.

    The only depressing thing is, whatever California does, sooner or later Washington, or at least Seattle, does it too.

  8. Charles Martel says

    The NIMBYs who trashed this project don’t have a whit of insight as to their motivations. They believe they acted out of concern for their “quality of life” and the pwecious Marin County countryside—motivations that in their stunted worldview trump all others.
    But what really motivated them is the dirty little secret of liberal enclaves everywhere: envy. You can build entire social movements around envy—the Marxists and socialists certainly did—and never fear that you’ll run out of recruits, even in an affluent place like Marin where one would think abundance might throttle back the need to covet a neighbor’s goods.
    But Lucas is an affront to the NIMBYs. Whether you like his opus or not, he poured a lot of energy and creativity into the things he’s produced. The market has rewarded him with great wealth, and like wealthy people everywhere, he has used his abundance to create jobs for thousands of people. But his neighbors don’t the like the fact that he gets to own vast acreage, and that he gets to hire good architects to design his buildings, and that he brings undeserving strangers in from non-Marin locales to work in our neighborhood. Well, it would be our neighborhood if Lucas hadn’t stolen his millions and invaded our turf with his ranch and studio hidden up a quiet oak-lined road where we can’t hear or see his minions ripping apart our countryside.  
    Nothing to see here, folks. Just Marin types acting true to their nature. When the crappo housing gets built in place of Lucas’s project, it will not occur to a single one of the NIMBYs that they brought the resulting congestion and degradation of the landscape on themselves. 

  9. says

    Charles: The “hilarious” part of your recitation is that all those folks arrived AFTER George Lucas built his original complex! He fought like mad to keep that development from ever being built….and now they’ve screwed him, as well as themselves!

  10. Charles Martel says

    Earl, it’s like the yuppies who move next door to a pig farm that’s been there for 70 years and start screaming, “We’re shocked, shocked to smell pig s**t going on here!”

  11. says

    Yep….saw it a lot in Napa Valley. Someone pays HUGE money for their St. Helena cottage, and then begins bitching about the sound of the big fans used to prevent frost damage in spring, or about the noise of equipment during nighttime picking to beat the first frost of the fall, etc. Hilarious (and bracing) to watch the normally “ever-so-compassionate” Napa Valley folks respond with “Toughen up, newbie — you moved to an agricultural zone.  Get used to it!”
    Happens a lot around airports, too — initially, they’re built FAR out of town to avoid noise problems.  Subdivisions keep moving out toward them until they’re surrounded, and inundated with complaints from people who got cheaper housing precisely because it was closer to the airport.
    People are stupid.

  12. says

    “Hilarious (and bracing) to watch the normally “ever-so-compassionate” Napa Valley folks respond with “Toughen up, newbie — you moved to an agricultural zone.  Get used to it!””

    With Obama in their pocket, they never need to. That’s the point of a totalitarian regime. They can make people do what they want them to do.


Leave a Reply