Throwing their toys out of the pram?

Two recent cases have emerged of rich property owners, denied the ability to do what they want with their property due to the opposition of neighbors, instead doing something even less desirable to the latter.

The first is George Lucas in Marin County, California.

After George Lucas ran into a buzzsaw of opposition from his wealthy Marin County neighbors when he tried to expand his Skywalker Ranch studio, the filmmaker might be getting some payback with plans for one of the largest affordable housing projects in the Bay Area.

. . .

“George Lucas said, ‘if I’m not going to do what I wanted to do there, what can I do that would be really beneficial to this community?’” Marin County Supervisor Steve Kinsey said.

There’s more at the link.  Needless to say, Mr. Lucas’ wealthy and exclusive (and dare I say ‘snooty’?) neighbors are said to be furious at the prospect of affordable housing in so unaffordable an area.

The second case is in London.

Locals in one of London’s most exclusive areas are up in arms after accusing a neighbour of painting a £15 million house like a ‘beach hut’ in an act of petty revenge following a planning dispute.

. . .

Rather than fitting in with the other Georgian townhouses, the three storey property resembled a garish football strip with eight inch wide red and white stripes covering the entire front.

The paint job came after the owner, multi-millionaire property developer, Zipporah Lisle-Mainwaring, 66, lost out in a planning to dispute to turn the house into a so-called ‘iceberg mansion’ with a huge mega-basement.

Mrs Lisle-Mainwaring, who is thought to now live in Switzerland, had applied to have the house – which is currently used to store antiques – demolished and replaced with a five storey property boasting an underground swimming pool and cinema.

But neighbours objected, complaining that there would be too much disruption and the excavation work could lead to structural problems with their own homes.

Residents of the upmarket address accused Mrs Lisle-Mainwaring of turning the house into an eyesore in retaliation for their opposition to her plans.

Again, more at the link.

I guess both cases are examples of the sense of entitlement that the rich get about themselves.  They’re used to being able to buy anything they want, and when denied, they get petulant.  “If you won’t let me have my way, I’ll make you suffer for it!”

Come to think of it, I guess that’s the root of the problems with the Hugo Awards at present, too.  Clearly, the rich aren’t the only ones suffering from entitlement syndrome . . .



  1. While it might appear petulant that the " rich " are doing things like this , they likely wouldn't be if the self appointed property Nazis had stuck to taking care of their own property and not attempting to force another property owner to conform to what they want . I pretty much come down on the side of the two examples you posted here and get a chuckle out of the reactions of the neighbors who started the whole thing .

  2. My HOA has been a thorn in my side for years. They try to find one thing after another to make my life difficult. I have been tempted to find a similar way to annoy them.

  3. Many moon ago, back in the 'burbs of Atlanta, GA, a home owner wanted to paint his house, but was rebuked by the Home Owner Association who stated the color was not one of the "36 approved colors" in the HOA contract.

    So he complied with their request and followed the contract — by painting his house all 36 approved colors.

    I wanted to give that man a hug, it was brilliant.

  4. The rich have an advantage here- they can afford the nuisance lawsuits sure to be brought by the offended.
    But the real question is this-who's property is it, anyway?

  5. >whose property is it, anyway?
    In this case the side-walls of the structure are jointly owned with the neighbors (Tenancy in Common) and both legislation and common law place restrictions on deep excavations right up to the property line in order to protect the neighbors property (Easement of support)

  6. There was a farmer here who wanted to retire and develop his farm into a subdivision. His neighbors, who had businesses and homes near the property, objected and prevented him from getting his farm rezoned from agricultural to residential.

    So he went full agricultural and made the front 10 acres or so of his property a free range hog farm. You can imagine the neighbor's consternation when all the authorities did was shrug and say that it an agricultural pursuit.

    I may or may not have offered to buy him a beer.

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