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The people of the Bay Area have spoken on the case of Hillsborough v. The Flintstone House.
The lawn sculptures cascading down the backyard of the unique house are not “eye sores,” as a recent complaint against the house stated, but joyous neighborhood attractions. At least, that’s according to the 13,658 people who signed an online petition urging the city to “Leave the home owners alone!” as of Tuesday afternoon.
Andrea Garcia, of San Jose, created the petition last week. It’s directed at Governor Gavin Newsom and the Natural History Museum of London, which is seemingly related to the home solely on account of its large dinosaur fossil collection.
The trouble for the Flintstone House started months ago.
Owner Florence Fang purchased the ostentatious orange-and-purple home, a longstanding visual quirk along a stretch of Interstate 280, in 2017 for $2.8 million. Fang is a former publisher of the San Francisco Examiner and now helms the San Mateo-based Florence Fang Family Foundation.
According to rubberneckers along I-280, the property gained some new residents shortly after its purchase — a herd of dinosaur sculptures.
But that’s not the only changes Fang made to the property, according to the complaint, filed this month in the Superior Court of California. Starting around 2017, Fang began installing “extensive improvements” in the yard, including the sculptures and a sign reading “Yabba Dabba Doo,” the complaint says.
She also reportedly built a retaining wall, steps, columns, gates, a parking strip and a deck to “accommodate her plan to use 45 Berryessa for parties and social gatherings.” The town of Hillsborough claims some of these modifications created “life-safety hazards” that required immediate correction.
Fang allegedly instituted the improvements without proper planning approvals or building permits, with the exception of the wall installed at the front of the property. She could not be reached for comment.
It seems some Bay Area residents are disgruntled by the bureaucratic kerfuffle — and the city’s unfavorable aesthetic assessment of the property and its sculptures.
“Personally I would fight to keep these statues up and leave these owners alone,” Garcia wrote in the petition. “As a child I would drive to San Francisco with my family to see my grandmother. I would wait patiently until I was able to catch a glimpse at the Flintstone House. At that time it was just orange and round and it intrigued me.”
“Now when I drive my daughter up north, she waits to see the house and the steel statues that line the yard,” Garcia continued. “She is a huge fan of the T-Rex. Removing the statues would devastate her and many of our childhood memories we have of this beautiful home.”
More people have signed the petition than reside in the town of Hillsborough.
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This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/article/flintstone-house-hillsborough-petition-280-13718103.php.