Lucasfilm scraps plans for new studio in Marin County
Lucasfilm, the company behind the "Star Wars" movies, said it was scrapping plans to build a huge studio facility in Marin County, citing longstanding opposition from homeowners.
"The level of bitterness and anger expressed by the homeowners in Lucas Valley has convinced us that, even if we were able to spend more time to acquire the necessary approvals, we would not be able to maintain a constructive relationship with our neighbors,'' Lucasfilm said in a statement Tuesday. "We love working and living in Marin, but the residents of Lucas Valley have fought this project for 25 years."
Lucasfilm moved its headquarters and most of its employees, including its visual effects unit ILM, to the Presidio in San Francisco several years ago because it outgrew its location at Skywalker Ranch in Lucas Valley.
The Marin County planning commission in February approved plans for 269,000-square-foot production facility on nearby Grady Ranch, about 15 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge. But the project sparked heavy opposition from neighbors who complained it would create noise, traffic and environmental problems.
"We need the spaces we build to do our work,'' Lucasfilm said. "Movies are waiting to be made, and we must move forward."
-- Richard Verrier
Photo: George Lucas is seen at Skywalker Ranch in San Rafael, Calif., in 2005. Credit: Eric Risberg / Associated Press