Marin Strikes Back to Keep Lucas - NBC Bay Area

Marin Strikes Back to Keep Lucas

Marin County officials use the "force" to keep Lucas in local studio game.



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    George Lucas Film Compound Plans In Jeopardy.

    The Marin County empire is striking back, fighting to persuade George Lucas to reconsider his decision to abandon plans for a digital movie-making complex at Grady Ranch.

    The Marin Independent Journal reports, county supervisors scrambled in a full-court press Wednesday, with one elected leader saying the county could join with him to repel any lawsuit filed by neighbors, and another saying she is willing to approve the project without restrictions.

    The extraordinary pledges from supervisors Steve Kinsey and Judy Arnold came after Lucas announced he was pulling the plug on the massive compound, blaming fierce opposition from his Lucas Valley neighbors and regulatory delays.

    Representatives of the Lucas Valley Estates subdivision produced reams of paperwork asserting that the development was out of character with the surroundings. Last week, they convinced Marin County Supervisors to delay the project until more environmental impact studies could be done.

    In response, Lucas announced plans to take his project elsewhere.

    "We plan to sell the Grady property, expecting that the land will revert back to its original use for residential housing," Lucasfilm said in an announcement. "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."

    Kinsey told the Independent Journal that the county board remains ready to approve the project. "If we cannot get the project back on track, future proposals for this property will never achieve the environmental or economic contributions of the Lucasfilm project," he said. "While affordable housing is needed throughout the county, the best use of this land remains the Lucasfilm proposal."