If you have been a fan of the Star Wars series, you would definitely know George Lucas. Thanks to the successes of his films, he was able to acquire a large piece of land in Marin County. But, unfortunately, his co-residents were not too happy with his decision to build a movie studio on the plot. As a result, he had to change his plans.
After a month of protesting, George Lucas finally responded to the plea of his co-residents in Marin County. Instead of building a studio, Lucas used the land to build affordable housing in one of the wealthiest counties in the United States.
What Was George Lucas’ Original Plans?
Before George Lucas purchased the thousand-acre land in Marin County, Grady Ranch was labeled by the zoning committee as a residential lot. The company sold it so that they could use it as so. But Lucas had another plan.
He wanted the space so he could build the Lucasfilm Production Studio. What he didn’t expect was the outrage of his neighbors and other co-residents of Marin County.
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 neighbours.Lucasfilm
What Happened to the Project After the Protest?
After a month of protests, the two sides came to an agreement. The Marin Community Foundation announced that they would be working alongside Lucasfilm on a massive housing project.
We’ve got enough millionaires here. What we need is some houses for regular working people.George Lucas
After three years of waiting for housing grants and following regulatory boards, George Lucas decided to foot the bill for the construction. Aside from allowing the project to push through, this also meant that it could be allocated to specific groups of their choice. (Source: CNet)
Was The Housing Project a Success?
The project was expected to cost about $200 million and would be located right next to Skywalker Ranch. The housing units were said to be for 224 low-income families. However, in 2020, things got ugly between the two parties, and George Lucas is suing the town over inconsistencies on the housing project. (Source: SF Gate)
What Caused the Problem?
In 2012, Lucas abruptly changed his mind and canceled plans to build an extension in his studio that was in the same area. While many residents agreed that low-income housing would be suitable, they did not want it within their town. So instead, they proposed that it be far, far, away.
The housing would literally and figuratively change the landscape in Marinwood and Lucas Valley.Damon Connolly, County Supervisor
Residents started rumors of Lucas canceling development because he was vindictive, but the producer denied this.
I wouldn’t waste my time or money just to try and upset the neighbors.George Lucas
(Source: SF Gate)