Marin County joins Dark Side of Force

by Katy Grimes | May 11, 2012 4:16 pm

May 11, 2012

By Katy Grimes

When you think of arugula, champagne and caviar, the Ritz Hotel and the Upper West Side, what often comes to mind is effete, out of touch elitists … limousine liberals who deem themselves the upper crust, and the rest of us as peasants.

The upper crust is also filled with posers, pretenders and self-appointed nannies.


Welcome to Marin County, Calif., which has just snubbed one of its best residents.

After 25 years of fighting with Marin County residents, Star Wars[2] film maker George Lucas and his company Lucasfilm[3], recently caught Marin County off guard when he announced[4] that they have finally pulled the plug on plans to build a new filmmaking facility.

Lucas is now doing what every developer, homeowner or property owner has fantasized about: He is moving forward with plans to instead build low-income housing on his property in NIMBY Marin County.

Environmentalists and some residents fought against the Lucasfilm plan to build the Mission-style, 269,000 square foot building, and apparently also against the hundreds of jobs the new moviemaking facility would generate.

After recently finally deciding to end the fight, Lucasfilm said they had other opportunities and still planned to build a new moviemaking plant and provide hundreds of jobs to another location. Who knows if the company will even stay in California?

This is where the story gets delicious.

After Lucas pulled the plug on the business expansion in Marin County, his company announced plans on selling the property to a developer for low-income housing. But now it appears that Lucas will reap a little more satisfaction and develop the property himself.

Just say “NO” to property rights

Marin County[5] is 80 percent white, and in 2008 voted nearly 80 percent  for Barack Obama. To paint an even clearer picture, “out of California counties, only San Francisco County and Alameda County voted more Democratic in the 2008 Presidential election, and all three counties voted more heavily for Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama than Cook County, Ill., Obama’s home county,” Wikipedia reported[6].

Located on the historic Grady Ranch[7], Lucas planned on building a digital media production facility. But the nearby in Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association[8] claimed the proposed  production complex was too large, would displace too much dirt, would change the course of a creek going through the area, would create too much traffic, and hadn’t been studied enough.

The liberal Marin County busybodies worked for 25 years to kill the project, not really believing that Lucas would sell the land for low-income housing.

We can only hope…

Once plans for the mission-style production facility Lucasfilm planned to build have been scrapped, Lucas’s Grady Ranch Team sent a letter [9]to The Marin Independent Journal, explaining:

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.

“When we first proposed Skywalker Ranch in 1978, we understood people’s concerns about a business moving to residential area.  They feared helicopters landing with celebrities and tour buses coming down Lucas Valley Road.

“None of their fears materialized. Over 5,000 acres were permanently preserved with an 11 mile hiking trail, all the buildings are hidden from the road, the pond and ranch restoration created an area for wildlife to thrive, and over 8,000 trees were planted. Lucasfilm provided fire and rescue aid to the community and boosted Marin’s economy by hundreds of millions of dollars and provided employment to its residents.

“After Skywalker Ranch was completed, our neighbors praised us and the County continually used us as an example of how best to develop.

“We plan to sell the Grady property expecting that the land will revert back to its original use for residential housing. 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.

What’s good for the goose is good for the gander

Lucas owns and has developed several ranches in Marin County, totaling more than 6,100 acres, and has been touted as being tremendously environmentally friendly, as well as a good neighbor.

Lucas has been such a good neighbor that several of his Lucas Valley Estates homeowners considered the historic Lucas-owned farmland their back yards.

What’s yours is mine.


Now those neighbors will get to look out of their back windows instead see Section 8 housing[11]. And they wonder why most people think they are effete, out of touch elitists.

Apparently Lucas’s neighbors and environmental activists believed that low-income housing could never be built in the “environmentally sensitive location.” But, according to federal records, Marin County doesn’t have enough low-income housing.

That’s because most affluent Marin County neighborhoods are home to politically liberal, nanny state, environmental do-gooder statists, who have opposed construction of any kind once their own houses are built. They have fiercely opposed low-income and affordable housing built anywhere near their homes, but wildly support building it elsewhere in the state.

“A Marin County worker would need to earn $36.63 hourly, or more than $76,000 annually, to afford the average $1,905 rent for a typical two-bedroom apartment,” the Novato Patch recently reported. A study[12] by the Non-profit Housing Association of Northern California found that Marin County is the nation’s least affordable rental market.

What Now?

Marin County had the best imaginable neighbor in George Lucas. But their liberal triumphalism and detachment from reality will now make way for the “riff-raff” they so detest.

What better place to build housing for the people?

Maybe the new residents will plant some organic arugula.

  1. [Image]:
  2. Star Wars:
  3. Lucasfilm:
  4. announced:
  5. Marin County:,_California
  6. reported:,_California
  7. Grady Ranch:
  8. Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association:
  9. sent a letter :
  10. [Image]:
  11. Section 8 housing:
  12. study:

Source URL: