NIMBY alive and well in California

by Tom Gallagher

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The "not in my backyard" policy, or NIMBY, came to the fore when legendary film producer George Lucas attempted to build a film studio on his ranch in Marin County, Calif., north of San Francisco. So instead, and apparently without trying to "stick it" to those who opposed his film studio plan, Lucas will build 2,500 units of affordable housing in this affluent community. Time will tell if the advocates of NIMBY show up again to thwart the housing project.

CNN Money reports:

The film emperor may be striking back. For 25 years, filmmaker George Lucas tried to persuade his Marin County, Calif., neighbors to let him build a digital production studio on his ranch there, but the area's residents thwarted the plan.

So Lucas has come up with an alternative for his Grady Ranch property: To build low-income housing on it.

Instead, the maker of some of the biggest box office successes of all time, including the "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" franchises, intends to sell the property to the Marin Community Foundation (MCF), a non-profit that has already funded more than 2,500 units of affordable housing and will explore options for developing Grady Ranch.

Opposition to the plan has come mainly from residents of nearby homes represented by the Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association, and from real estate developer Thomas Monahan, who owns a big property next to the Grady Ranch. The association did not respond to a request for comment and Monahan declined to comment.

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