Flintstone House Owner Sued for Prehistoric Eyesores
The town of Hillsborough, California, just outside of San Francisco, is suing one of its residents who has made some landscaping changes to what is colloquially known as the “Flintstone House.”
The structure, which is now seen in colors orange, red and purple, was built in 1976 and was originally painted white.
Every surface is rounded in the house, which is an effect from the monolithic dome construction that was used to build it. During construction, steel rebar and wire mesh frames were fitted over large inflated balloons. Then, the structure was sprayed with shotcrete.
Runoff from the nearby hillside caused severe structural problems on the property in the 1980s, but in 1987 a renovation brought the home back to life.
The current owner, now-retired media official Florence Fang (whose family once published the San Francisco Examiner) bought the house in 2017 for $2.8 million.
Shortly after Fang purchased the property, she began to add to its aesthetic in the front and back yards by installing 15-foot dinosaur statues, as well as a woolly mammoth, a giraffe, a garden of oversized mushrooms, a rainbow and a peacock sculpture.
She has also erected a life-size statue of Fred Flintstone and another of the cartoon character’s pet dinosaur, Dino. In addition to art, she has also added a retaining wall, steps, gates and a parking strip.
The complaint filed in state Superior Court on March 13, calls some of the modifications safety hazards and classifies the others as eye sores.
According to the complaint, Fang was issued several cease-and-desist notices while she was working on the additions, telling her to obtain various approvals and building permits. She ignored the orders and was cited for multiple violations of the municipal code October 2018 and was fined $200 by the Administrative Hearing Panel of Hillsborough, which also ordered the dinosaur sculptures to be taken down.
Records show that Fang paid the fine, but hadn’t removed anything from the property, and in a statement said: “I think the dinosaurs are beautiful. ... They make everyone smile and should stay.”
The orders from the panel said: “The panel cannot support a project that proceeds on a ‘build first, ask for permission later’ basis” and that the additions were “designed to be very intrusive, resulting in the owner’s ‘vision’ for her property being imposed on many other properties and views, without regard to the desires of other residents.”