Feb 11, 2012 11:47 AM by Matt Stafford

Rural residents strike back at Lucas film empire

NICASIO, Calif. (AP) - Marin County's planning commission will hear arguments for and against allowing filmmaker George Lucas to expand his movie-making empire in the quiet hills just north of San Francisco.

Some Marin County residents are balking at the planned 270,000-square-foot digital media production compound on historic farmland known as Grady Ranch. They worry the facility will constrain their lifestyle with additional noise, traffic and harmful environmental impacts on the pristine countryside.

But Lucasfilms officials insist the compound will be similar to the Skywalker Ranch, a sound facility hidden in hills for 32 years without complaint. They will hide the new digital filmmaking structure in the hills and work to mitigate traffic while protecting hundreds of acres from further development.

Both sides will face off at the planning commission on Feb. 27.



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