Residents Take On George Lucas Over Marin Construction Plans

SAN RAFAEL (KCBS / CBS 5) – The long-delayed plans of filmmaker George Lucas to build a movie production studio on the old Grady Ranch has stirred opposition among residents of a quiet bedroom community in Marin County.

The state-of-the-art facility would bring an outdoor soundstage and underground parking for 250 cars to an area residents said is zoned for single-family and multi-family residences.

Objections voiced during a community meeting Wednesday at Dixie Elementary School ran the gamut from traffic congestion to noise pollution during outdoor filming.

The 3-story building that would house Lucasfilm screening rooms, guest accommodations, a café, kitchen, general store and daycare center is actually smaller than the project Marin County approved in 1996.

KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:

Lucas plans to build bridges over and restore several creeks on Grady Ranch. Material excavated to build a wine cave to age vino from the filmmakers’ vineyards would become a knoll that hides the building from public view.

The plans also call for two new indoor soundstages, each the size of a department store, and one large outdoor soundstage.

Neighbors fear what this could do to their rural lifestyles.

“It may turn into a winery. They may have sort of an amusement park, it could morph into many different things,” said neighbor Janice Warren.

“I think that they justified it because it was ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,’ which justifies almost anything these days,” added Joy Dahlgren, who also lives nearby.

The county’s planning department maintains this is an important project for the area, and that community fears are unfounded. They contend the project is consistent with the master plan for the area, and any problems it causes with the neighborhood would have to be addressed by the developer. They added that none of the facilities would be open to the public and a maximum occupancy of 350 people would be in effect.

But those who oppose the project see it as a David vs. Goliath fight.

“We are regular, everyday people, and he is a beloved celebrity,” said neighbor Hillary Sciarillo.

“I don’t have any objection to a person being rich and famous and doing well, and George Lucas has done a lot of good things for the county. I think this is a particularly bad choice,” said Dahlgren.

Lucas Films sent CBS 5 a statement saying they were surprised at the opposition since the plan had been publicly vetted and discussed and unanimously approved by the county’s Board of Supervisors.

The project now goes before the Marin County Planning Commission on Feb. 27.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

More from Chris Filippi
  • Kim Harvey

    Iam all for it.Hope George gets to do this.Plus for Marin.

    • DianeCee

      As long as the progressives from California remain in California, I could care less where lucas builds. California residents dug their own hole, eh?

      • TheRealKingMax

        Just announced!

        2012 Democatic National Commitee theme song for the election, compliments of Edgar Winter:

        “FREE RIDE”

    • Dave Hardesty

      George Lucas

      Since the dolts in Marin don’t seem to want you might I invite you to a small community in Northwest Washington state, not far from Seattle, where you could set up business and employ our unemployed who would be more than happy to work for you. The members of this community would welcome you with open arms and your efforts would greatly help all of the businesses in the area.

      Furthermore, we have a vibrant community theater and a plethora of skills for you to draw from to staff and run a production studio successfully.

    • Dilbert

      “Noise pollution?” Give me a break. If you’ve ever visited Skywalker Ranch, you’ll know that even on a busy workday, it’s still one of the quietest, most peaceful places you can imagine.

  • Liber Al

    These people never saw a movie studio. They are quiet as can be aside from when pyrotechnics are going off for special, rare scenes. Ever been to Burbank? Aside from tall walls, you’d think you were in a ghost town while the movies are being made. It’s the most un-LA part of LA! And that is a good thing.

    • Gordy

      Yeah. These people are small-minded dummies. I live and work in Hollywood. The studio lots are the quietest, most peaceful places in town. They are seriously noise-free oasis’.

      Besides that flawed logic, I don’t suppose any of these knee-jerk naysayers have thought about the revenue that would pour into Marin from this: property taxes, sales taxes, increased local business, etc, etc…

      • Miguel

        The money and jobs will stay strictly inside George Lucas’ operation, as it’s designed to do. Some guard and maybe some waitress type jobs may go local, but the locals will get nothing. Since this local community in in Marin Co. the locals are mostly elitists whose children would hold their noses at waitress type jobs.

        Filthy rich liberals always seem to want to buy and then wreck venerable old places like Grady Ranch. Why can’t Lucas just buy some ope land and develop that, so not to impact a local community?

  • Occupy This

    To the People’s Republic of Marin County—shut up, you voted for the leftist hacks who green lighted this behemoth studio. Now live in it. You deserve each other.

    And note: No Republicans were involved in the sabotage of your community quality. But in November, you’ll be brainwashed again to believe they somehow were and vote your liberal rats in.

  • Phil

    I don’t have a house in the neighborhood, but after reading the article would like to see a giant Jar Jar Binks statue erected.

  • Odin

    Build it and the jobs will come.

    When more jobs are here in Marin then we will not have to drive as much.

    It will be good for the planet (Marin-Speak)

    Seems like a win-win to me.

  • Residents Angry At George Lucas Over Plans To Build Massive Movie Studio In Quiet Neighborhood… | Drudge Report

    […] (Sec­ond col­umn, 14th story, link) […]

  • Mark

    Could they have picked 4 snottier women? I really don’t think anyone cares that $1 million + homes, with the b****y housewives of MarinCo. are unhappy.

    • Sammie Jo

      I think you just coined a new reality show! lol

  • Johnny

    Come to Kern County (Rosamond) This little town would WELCOME THE JOBS!!

  • Libby T. Chuther

    What a hoot!

  • John Moser

    As long as the creepy, talentless troll never came to work and had absolutely NOTHING to do with the films being made, I would be okay with it.

  • jimbo96

    Got to love this fight between a bunch of millionaires and a billionaire…they appear to be upset that somebody else has more than them…if they really don’t like it, move. They won’t see it, they won’t hear it…the road is a PUBLIC road, that the fees paid by Lucas to Marin County, will more than pay for any necessary improvements which will benefit them as well as the public. They are a bunch of egotistical idiots who would be better to stfu and enjoy the new road, more tax income to the county, more high paying jobs…

    • capt ron

      It’s still Bushh’s fault.

  • David

    It is progress…. Obama and Congress have done it… what’s not to like?

  • James Benoit

    Typical lefty “nimby-ism.”
    More galling is the opinion of this Kool Aid drinker criticizing this project: ” “I think that they justified it because it was ‘jobs, jobs, jobs,’ which justifies almost anything these days” added Joy Dahlgren.

    Another RICH, LIBERAL POS looking down her nose at us, huh? What a B**ch.

  • stoptouchingthatmabel

    It’s called expanding the tax base and one thing California and its democrats need is more taxes because until they get to infinity there will never be enough for the democrats.

  • Susan B. Kidding

    This is precisely why I FLED Marin County. I took my husband, children, and dogs and FLED. Not because of Lucas but because of these Liberal, snobby, NIMBY, uppity, blue bloods that have no concept of what real change looks like. I think Lucas should pay them to move to Greece.

    • jnsesq

      No need. Greece is coming to them.

    • Steve K., Denver

      “….took my husband….and fled.” Have all men in California been emasculated?

      • Susan B. Kidding

        He was born and raised there. Now that he left the vacuum of reason and understanding, he sees what he didn’t before. Marin was a terrible place to live, work, and raise a family. Snobby, arrogant and if you think your education system is great – you’re an idiot.

  • Todd

    Marin County libs learning that some people are more equal than others. Lucas is an arse. He loads everything up with CGI that looks so fake. He hires people in rubber masks to sell toys and to avoid paying actors. HE cried racism because he redid a film about Tuskeegee Airmen when the other film was made a few years ago. I bet his version is loaded with fake CGI. Hollywood can go to h*ll.

    • Bilford Rielly

      OK Todd I’ll bite…………What the hell are going on about?

    • Fulminator

      Too True

  • pelosisucks

    What’s funny is Lucas is himself a big Liberal. I lost all respect for him when I read he had dinner with Sharpton.

  • David Paul Cappa

    As long as local zoning laws are followed, I have no problem. There is no legal analysis in the article, so unless I research on my own, I have no idea who is “right.”

    • Miyegombo Bayartsogt

      Zoning laws and billionaires are not mentioned in the same sentence. Being a billionaire means there are no zoning laws.

  • Very Old B

    If it generates tax revenue, the neighbors should be grateful. California needs all it can get to offset the public employees and the illegals.

  • James Andrews

    I thought Lucas was quitting Hollywood because the bigots wouldn’t fund his film about the Tuskegee Airmen, even though Hollywood did the story about 15 years ago. Now he wants to use his star power to invade a residential rural neighborhood and destroy it. Marin County started the fight against Urban sprawl with restricted zoning ordinances and created the California Coastal Commission. Now they want to cave to a multi millionaire that’s cool and PC? Amazing hypocrisy.

  • Jolly Imam

    None of you understand. Lucas is a much beloved elitist Hollywood liberal. A big donor to Bomba the Kenyan boy king’s re-election strongbox. Not only that but Lucas speaks Pandorian. Only the uber rich are allowed to speak it.

  • Theo W Bruinsma

    Lucas is bootlicker of the Left.

    He mocks shopping malls, the places where they sell all his Star Wars toys.

    Occupy Lucas Valley!

  • Jerry Garcia

    This is Bush’s fault..come on folks, when are you going to get it…that EVERYTHING under Obama is Bush’s fault!

  • Kim Bailey

    Lucas makes 100% black movies with an all black cast.
    Nobody wants that…..Blacks are violent killers and rapists.

  • anonymous

    it’s the THX … people miss

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