A California Woman’s ‘Flintstone House’ Drew Both Ire and Joy. A Legal Settlement Lets Her Keep the Wacky Lawn Sculptures for Good
Owner Florence Fang will comply with permit applications moving forward.
A lengthy legal dispute between the Bay Area town of Hillsborough and the owner of a whimsical, sculpture-filled property known as the Flintstone House has finally been settled.
The town will pay Florence Fang, the owner of the property, $125,000, while she has agreed to comply with permit applications moving forward, the Guardian reports.
The controversy dates back to 2019 when the town alleged that Fang, who is in her 80s and made her fortune in publishing, violated local codes by installing dinosaur sculptures throughout the property, prompting officials to label it a public nuisance.
In a 2019 interview and home tour with the Guardian, Fang said the inspiration for her landscaping and home design came while watching The Flintstones cartoon on television. “The first episode is Fred with Dino,” she told the paper. “And I said, ‘Dino should be here! Fred should be here!’”
In addition to a set of letters that spell out Fred Flintstone’s famous catchphrase “Yabba dabba doo,” Fang installed a sculpture of him, Wilma, Dino, and Barney and Betty Rubble. There are also 15-foot-tall metal dinosaurs, an astronaut, a moon rover, a spaceship, and the Great Gazoo, the latter of which is the name of an alien in the series that crashed to earth.
Fang told the paper that she wanted to decorate her home “with the past and the future combined in harmony.” Of the dispute she said: “I’m just a tired old lady. I just wanted my peaceful life. I’m a very, very regular, retired old lady. But of course, a little different. I have all kinds of dreams.”
When Hillsborough sued Fang in 2019 after she did not comply with numerous stop-work orders, and an order to remove the sculptures, she fought back with a lawsuit of her own. Her attorney alleged that the town had violated Fang’s constitutional right to fully enjoy her property, and that the town had discriminated against Fang because of her Chinese heritage, a claim that town supervisors have vehemently denied.
Mark Hudak, an attorney for Hillsborough, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. He has previously said that the town prided itself on its rural, woodsy feel and told the Guardian that the rules were in place “so neighbors don’t have to look at your version of what you would like to have, and you don’t have to look at theirs.”
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