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Supes Remain Hopeful about Grady Ranch

Supervisor Steve Kinsey believes the "Death Star is dimming." Lucas Valley Estates neighbors take the heat.

Despite Skywalker Properties’ insistence that , the Marin Board of Supervisors remain hopeful that they will change their mind.

“From my view the Death Star is dimming,” Supervisor Steve Kinsey said Tuesday. “We will approve this project when it comes back.”

Supporters of the Grady Ranch project, filmmaker George Lucas’s proposed 269,000-square-foot digital studio, filled the board’s Tuesday meeting. Their public comments lasted over an hour.

Bill Grady, who’s family is the namesake for the ranch, is one of many who are hopeful that Grady Ranch will be constructed. “As a family we would just love to have our names associated with this project, but in a positive way,” he said.

The Marin Economic Forum estimates that the withdrawal will result in a total of $216 million in lost revenue. The project would've created 690 jobs, with 463 jobs for the two-year construction phase alone.

Lucas Valley neighbor Ron Litvin said he was horrified when he heard the Skywalker Properties announcement. “I realize there will be some negatives, but there’s aways some negatives,” he said.

, but claiming that the plan failed to meet environmental standards and was inconsistent with zoning requirements in the largely residential area.

Supervisors to review the legal concerns regarding regulations with local and other agencies, when LucasFilm shocked the county last week and

"We have several opportunities to build the production stages in communities that see us as a creative asset, not as an evil empire, and if we are to stay on schedule we must act on those opportunities," their statement said.

Shere Ripley is a Lucas Valley Estates resident. Unlike several of her neighbors, she wants Lucas to stay in Marin to create jobs for kids who will grow and want to work in the county. “We need it for our kids. We need it for our future,” she said.

Hostility is swirling toward the Lucas Valley Estates neighbors who opposed the project since the Skywalker Properties' announcement. One neighbor, who wished to remain nameless, said several neighbors had received threats.

"Cannot say enough about the self centered, short sighted, clueless people of the Lucas Valley Estates? Now possibly the most hated people in Marin." Deanna Davisson commented via Facebook on a Marin Independent Journal article about the appeal.

The Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association issued a statement after the withdraw was announced that said "There were clearly many factors involved in making this decision. We are sure that it was made with consideration for what is best for Lucasfilm."

Since the announcement, the county launched a website urging supporters to write letters to Skywalker Properties. Despite the influx of support, LucasFilm Director of Communications Lynne Hale told reporters last week that the company would not reconsider and had to move on.

But Supervisor Judy Arnold remains optimistic. “Reconsider, come back, let’s finish the Grady Ranch project,” she said.

Want to write a letter supporting Grady Ranch? Go here for details.

Michael April 19, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Lucas' ventures are not smoke billowing polluting factories are they? Take a look at what HE just did on the Miracle Mile in San Anselmo. He cleaned up decrepit part of the median and it is now beautiful. How is his involvement in our community bad for us? A few selfish people trying to inflict THEIR narrow view of how life should be for all of us in Marin. We need strong leadership which apparently we do not have. The current Board needs to go as they have been growing long roots. Do we want or need career politicians? They blew this one by focusing on other non important issues instead of this good one. Heck Susan Adams is busy looking for her next government job in congress. Is she really paying attention to her current responsibilities?
Kid Adam April 19, 2012 at 03:30 PM
just another example of "me-rin" some of you are a joke. I haven't lives here as long as most but get over yourselves. Name one other county in the country that would turn down these opportunities. Shame on you "ME"rin
William Noble April 19, 2012 at 07:07 PM
I heard the head of the Lucas Valley Estates Homeowners Association on Michael Krazny's KQED program. I'm not sure I've ever heard a community activist, of any stripe, who lied so glibly and continuously. I was particularly astonished at her we didn't do anything, "We were just bystanders" remark.
gary April 19, 2012 at 07:52 PM
You can thank Carolyn Lenert and her ilk. Ironically, she is a realtor who could have sold a few Marin homes to the 900 employees, ya think? http://www.marinij.com/business/ci_20417866/lucas-supporters-marin-supervisors-urge-filmmaker-reconsider-bailing "Carolyn Lenert, head of the North San Rafael Coalition of Residents and a vocal opponent of the Lucas plan, was alone in standing to say a contrary word about the program. She contended Lucas Valley Estates "has not threatened suit," claimed neighbors were "never notified" about the project, and urged "due process ... a level playing field" and "no special treatment." Lenert drew boos and hisses from a partisan crowd solidly in favor of the filmmaker. Several residents of Lucas Valley Estates said the homeowners group did not reflect the feelings of the neighborhood, with one saying a defunct organization was revived by a handful of Lucas foes and another saying the association was merely a few "vociferous opponents."" But it looks like Lucas' decision is final. Such a shame. Shame on you, Lenert - way to go. http://www.marinij.com/business/ci_20426046/lucasfilm-marin-our-decision-is-final
kiki April 19, 2012 at 08:33 PM
the way things are going, marin is a nice place to visit but i'm not so sure about living here any more.

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