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.