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.)

Comments (75)
  1. Kim Harvey says:

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

    1. DianeCee says:

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

      1. TheRealKingMax says:

        Just announced!

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

        “FREE RIDE”

    2. Dave Hardesty says:

      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.

    3. Dilbert says:

      “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.

  2. Liber Al says:

    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.

    1. Gordy says:

      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…

      1. Miguel says:

        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?

  3. Occupy This says:

    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.

  4. Phil says:

    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.

  5. Odin says:

    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.

  6. Mark says:

    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.

    1. Sammie Jo says:

      I think you just coined a new reality show! lol

  7. Johnny says:

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

  8. Libby T. Chuther says:

    What a hoot!

  9. John Moser says:

    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.

  10. jimbo96 says:

    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…

    1. capt ron says:

      It’s still Bushh’s fault.

  11. David says:

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

  12. James Benoit says:

    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.

  13. stoptouchingthatmabel says:

    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.

  14. Susan B. Kidding says:

    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.

    1. jnsesq says:

      No need. Greece is coming to them.

    2. Steve K., Denver says:

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

      1. Susan B. Kidding says:

        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.

  15. Todd says:

    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.

    1. Bilford Rielly says:

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

  16. pelosisucks says:

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

  17. David Paul Cappa says:

    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.”

    1. Miyegombo Bayartsogt says:

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

  18. Very Old B says:

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

  19. James Andrews says:

    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.

  20. Jolly Imam says:

    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.

  21. Theo W Bruinsma says:

    Lucas is bootlicker of the Left.

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

    Occupy Lucas Valley!

  22. Jerry Garcia says:

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

  23. Kim Bailey says:

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

  24. anonymous says:

    it’s the THX … people miss

  25. Nick Berry says:

    Mr. Lucas you can bring that studio to my neighborhood, my fellow Iowans would love to have more decent paying jobs.

  26. YEA BABY says:


    1. Joseph O says:

      Congrats to Ely and the Giants, I hope they make it all the way! If our (the Saints) defense had been a little better, …but thats woulda, coulda, shoulda….

  27. slobberforRon says:

    This is good! We need new things because they are different and offer new ways. Remember new and hopey changey. We have advocated change for so long, now one of our fellow liberals has come along to offer us a small taste of perfect employment and living. Embrace the hope and change! Vote like lucas and all of us out here on the left coast! Vote often and vote Dem!!!! Only we can save them alll!!!!!!!!

  28. benth165 says:

    Jobs, jobs, jobs….. Yeah Right ! Marin County is an upscale neighborhood of upwardly mobile families. The type of jobs being spoken of are not the type of jobs that neighborhood needs or wants. The majority of jobs will be low paid assistant type positions.
    What will happen is that there will be an expansion of apartment dwellings to house those low paid individuals, which will become an eyesore in short order. Most of the land in Marin County has been bought up decades ago, so there won’t be much land for those new executives to build on, thus they’ll be scrambling to purchase homes which will then drive up home values and taxes.
    This is not just about building a few buildings to house productions companies, the whole area will change. Maybe Mr. Lucus should look somewhere else where the taxes will be lower, unless of course, if the city or governing council is giving him special incentives….

  29. Marla says:

    I wish that George Lucas would bring it to Nevada instead. We would appreciate the jobs and the tax revenue.

  30. LRon I Slobber on says:

    Yes indeed, Clintidote is correct.
    You shouldnt fear change fellow Libbies!
    More change is on the way!
    Just wait till its closer to election day!

  31. Typical White Person says:

    You have to laugh at those rich, white privileged ladies who undoubtedly tout change and diversity while living sequestered in their million dollar country homes surrounded only by other privileged white liberals. They all need a up close and personal taste of the true joys of diversity.

    1. Susan B. Kidding says:


  32. Daniel says:

    I’m sorry but if someone owns land, they should be able to do whatever they want with it. What ever happened to property rights in this country??

    1. YEA BABY says:

      Daniel, I agree.

      However when Obama got elected and the liberal Dem’s cry on just about everything if they don’t get their way,all our rights are out the window.

      The Govt works for the people,not the other way around.

      1. jnsesq says:

        Not to Dems.

  33. luxomni says:

    George, don’t you know that those people are special? Work is supposed to be done someplace where they don’t have to acknowlege its existance.

  34. Joseph O says:

    Hey Mr Lucas
    Why not build your studio in Louisiana? There’s plenty of room, and we’ve got the star of your next Star Wars picture, Troy “Choot-em” Landry. He could be the Cajun Jedi!!!

  35. Chris says:

    “We are regular, everyday people, and he is a beloved celebrity,”

    Trust me, after the septic SW Ep 1-3, he’s not that beloved. However, this is typical nimbyism.

  36. Justin Case says:

    Bring it to Atlanta!! Georgia loves the film industry & welcome them with open arms.

  37. Ted Stevens says:

    George. Leave the do gooder state of northern California and come on down to SoCal. In fact we have a large land area next to Edison power and railroad tracks already zoned for a movie studio in Moorpark. Perfect for what u want to do. We need the jobs and your development money.

  38. Joe Blough says:

    Bring the thing to MY neighborhood. I could takes Hollywood hotties running around here everyday.

  39. Lloyd says:

    Hey idiots, someone is finally investing in this God-forsaken state WITHOUT USING GOVERNMENT FUNDING. That’s a good thing, and a heck of a better deal than the bullet train to Chowchilla.

  40. Yirmin Snipe says:

    I’m amazed Lucas is so stupid as to want to build a studio in California at all… The insanely high taxes alone would be reason enough to build your studio somewhere else… Frankly smart money would build in Texas or Florida where the state doesn’t reach into everyone’s pocket that has a job to fund the lazy welfare bums.

  41. Melviin says:

    Liberalism is an Amusement Park. Spielberg would just be adding to it.

  42. Hale says:

    That’s a lot of Capitalism from someone who hates “capitalist democracy”. Newsflash George, it’s been a “capitalist democracy” from the beginning.

  43. Bill says:

    Wish George would build it in Tucson Arizona…lower taxes and lots of production people and actors.

  44. Diego Roswell says:

    Hollywood elites do not care what the common folk think. The elites know better than you. They know how to better spend your money, that is why they take it from you. It is hopeless to resist. The big leftist elites have all of the money and power and control the government and media. You don’t stand a chance. If you care about INDIVIDUAL rights and PROPERTY rights and the RULE OF LAW, well then you had better get busy replacing your elected officials because they are all beholden to the leftist elites that bought and paid for them.

  45. BlownfuelCoupe says:

    California Leftists get with it, George is just Raping the Environment “for the People”.

  46. Steve says:

    I love it when Drudge links to a story. Suddenly the right-wing loonies crawl out of the woodwork. This is NOT a political story, children. It’s not Obama’s fault.

    1. Yoda says:

      Hmm. To the DrudgeReport you have been. Hope for you there might be.

      1. Steve says:

        Speak like Yoda to sound intelligent you shouldn’t.

  47. Mike says:

    How ironic that Lucas was on the CBS Morning show decrying capitalism and business are too powerful…..

  48. Apesimist says:

    MIKE you are spot on my friend, the location also proves that entertainment is NOT a normal business model he (Lucas) and Hollywierd are THE 1%, the only group of workers in the world that claim to be owed in PERPITUITY for every thing ther are TOLD to say or do. Lucas goes to a high rent disctrict to build something no there wants becasue he can affored to have what he wants HIS way anytime….if he were a real business person or have any kind of real internal moral compus he would build in the central valley of california where the Liberal ilk is continually destroying our way of life. His home town is Modesto CA, but he wont bring business here he is too far in the stratosphere for us commononers he needs to hang out in lib land in the bay area so he can feel safe and “constituted” by surrounding himself with similar political opinions.

  49. Dawn says:

    I’m a resident and former county employee, and about as far from the elitist left as one can get.

    I think we can all agree that we want this project. But why not put it in a place where local businesses and the county and state tax coffers can benefit the most? Riight now, the location would be 4 miles from the highway on a rural 2 line road with no gas stations, restaurants, etc. in the immediate vicinity. It would be an industrial/commerical complex in a totally residential neighborhood.

    As a fiscal conservative, I hate to think that my taxpayer dollars are going to have to pay for road repair, infastructure (water, etc.) or anything of the kind because this development is located out here in the boondocks as opposed to right off the highway or somewhere else that could support it.

    There’s a way to help Lucas make more millions, and create tax revenue for residents–just put this project in an area in the town or county that can support it.

    1. Dawn says:

      Let me say this again–I support Lucas making his millions-why not? But not at taxpayer’s expense. James Hetfield has a big property across the road, and the county spent $650,000 to build a new trail around his property because Hettfeild didn’t want people getting too close.

      Let’s do a little cost benefit analysis. What is this project going to cost taxpayers in the long run once we factor in the cost of all the road work, the water, the utiities? I suspect way more than we know.

      We’ve got local busineses dying and huge buildings right by the highway sitting empty. Build there, support the local economy and even make the environmentalists happy. Everyone wins.

  50. Fred says:

    It is totally obvious– special treatment for rich celebrities– no one else could get to build a hollywood film studio right next to family homes in a residential neighborhood. It shouldn’t be allowed– No more ‘special treatment’ for celebrities!