North Bay Business Journal

Tuesday, May 8, 2012, 1:02 pm

Lucasfilm moves forward with affordable housing at Grady Ranch


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    NOVATO — Lucasfilm has partnered with the Marin Community Foundation to explore options for building affordable housing on the Grady Ranch property near San Rafael that George Lucas originally planned for a sizable digital-movie studio.

    Lucasfilm and Marin Community Foundation are collaborating on affordable housing at Grady Ranch. Should the concept be approved?

    • Yes (85%, 40 votes)
    • No (6%, 3 votes)
    • Don't know (9%, 4 votes)

    Total voters: 47
    Polling period: May 14, 2012 @ 5:00 pm – May 22, 2012 @ 11:59 pm

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    This NBBJ Pulse Poll ends May 22. View other polls.

    The partnership marks the first concrete action after Mr. Lucas’ real estate arm, Skywalker Properties, proposed affordable housing on the site in a public letter following the discontinuation of the proposed studio in April.

    Land and engineering studies conducted through the studio project process will be made available to the foundation, which will then judge the feasibility of affordable housing on the site, according to Dr. Thomas Peters, foundation president and chief executive officer.

    “To have that head start will be enormously valuable,” he said.

    Lucasfilm withdrew plans for the long-anticipated studio amid intense opposition from some residents in Lucas Valley. Some interpreted the affordable housing proposal in Skywalker Properties’ letter an affront to opponents of development there.

    Yet Dr. Peters said he is confident George Lucas is sincere about the idea, which points to a growing need for affordable housing in the county.

    “We are delighted that a prestigious organization such as the Marin Community Foundation is looking into the possibility of working with developers for Grady Ranch,” said Lucasfilm spokeswoman Lynne Hale in a statement.

    The Marin County Board of Supervisors supports the collaboration, according to a joint statement issued today.

    “I’m looking forward to learning about Mr. Lucas’ latest vision for his property in conjunction with the foundation,” wrote Supervisor Susan Adams, whose district includes Lucas Valley. “As with any development, we’re ready to hear more and work together on this.”

    Board President Steve Kinsey wrote that the supervisors are “very interested” in project ideas from the collaboration.

    “Lucas has been a steward of the land and a great contributor to the community,” wrote Mr. Kinsey.

    Mr. Peters noted that the collaboration is in a very early phase, but pursuing opportunities for affordable housing development in the county remains a high-priority goal of the foundation. In addition to addressing the needs of Marin workers who cannot afford to live in the county, Marin also faces a steadily growing population of seniors with limited incomes.

    “We’re already by proportion the oldest county in California,” Dr. Peters said. That trend, he added, is likely to continue.

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    1. May 9, 2012, 6:19 am

      by Big D

      Seems Lucas is using his power to get even with the neighbors who opposed him. Hope his arrogant rich neighbors end up with homeless drunks sleeping on their lawns

    2. May 9, 2012, 1:04 pm

      by Richard Mayer

      Good for George Lucas providing low cost housing. He said he would if he could not build a new facility I do not think his neighbors thought he would go foreward with housing. I remember a property owner in Petaluma surrounded by apartments who was denied a zoning change from agriculture, he put up a sign ” future home of a pig farm” guess what, he got his change. Obviously the people in Marin are not as smart as Petalumans.

    3. May 19, 2012, 10:06 am

      by Doug Liser

      We need laws in Marin where the super majority can override a local objection. It’s insane and economic suicide to allow seemingly every person in the county to have veto authority over any project. Studio: NIMBY, Hospital heliport: NIMBY, wind power: NIMBY. 1MW solar at airport.. let’s see.

    4. May 19, 2012, 10:40 am

      by John

      Serves them right, they fought him for years with their liberal agenda on the environment where they now have to live up to their liberal believes, for the little people. Let’s see how far this goes when in reality liberals want a two class society, those with and those without and please keep the ones without their neighborhoods.

      I hope Lucas builds very affordable housing for all people to live in where they too can enjoy living in Marin Country, kudos to Lucas!

    5. August 17, 2012, 5:31 pm

      by Sereniti

      How sad that someone thinks that just become one is ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED that means they will get drunk and hang out on someone’s lawn. That view point callous, ignorant and just plain WRONG!!

      I AM ECONOMICALLY DISADVANTAGED. I was in an SUV rollover and sustained serious back and head injuries. I have a French MBA and worked in top firms making big money. My life is now forever changed. I remain highly intelligent, but I need a serene, peaceful place in order to function at my highest potential.

      You can bet that I will be applying for this housing when it is available. I am grateful that such a brilliant man like George Lucas is not ignorant of the human condition, as this commentator is and those that opposed his plan. He had INFINITE PATIENCE with the planning approval process. I read the conditions. It was ludicrous what that man went through.

      No wonder he said goodbye Marin. I highly recommend Sonoma County… the culture will embrace him there without a doubt.

      PS I can’t even drink because of the pain meds which is slowly ruining my liver anyhow… So you can take yourself, your WHINE BOTTLE and go contemplate what is means to be human and actually contribute to making the world a better place.

    6. April 21, 2015, 4:58 am

      by Lois Barber

      He should donated some land to Homes for Our Troops- a national nonprofit that builds free custom handicap soldiers who are returning home with life-altering injuries https://www.hfotusa.org/

      They need donated land to out houses on. These homes are at no cost to the soldier, but need volunteers and donations to build them. What a noble cause!

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