Residents of a small town in San Mateo County have sued Bay Area mogul Florence Fang over additions to her so-called “Flintstones House,” which include large dinosaur statues and a quirky sign reading “Yabba Dabba Doo.”
In a lawsuit filed last week, the town of Hillsborough in San Mateo County called the iconic $3 million abode an “eyesore,” saying that Fang failed to obtain the necessary permits to make such large and noticeable additions to the property. Since Fang began work on the house in December 2017, the town has given Fang multiple warnings and ordered her to stop the project. Fang has ignored those orders, according to the lawsuit, making the house a “public nuisance.”
“If you drive by and see this installation from the freeway, and then drive on, you might think that’s cute and amusing,” Mark Hudak, the attorney representing the town of Hillsborough in the lawsuit, told San Jose Inside. “If you had to look at it all day every day, you might have a different reaction.”
Fang could not be immediately reached for comment. But in a statement to the public, she expressed gratitude for her supporters and vowed to keep up the fight:
Thank you for giving me the chance to tell my story and I also thank the many Hillsborough residents who have shown their support, as well as thousands of local, national and worldwide supporters.
From all your supportive comments, it made me realize that I am not the only one fighting for the legendary Flintstones. It is truly an American memory that makes people smile and feel good about themselves.
Let’s keep Fred and the Dino alive and work together to keep on smiling. I will fight the best I can.
While Fang has personally refrained from speaking to most media outlets about the case, her grandson, Sean Fang told Associated Press, “I think the dinosaurs are beautiful. They make everyone smile and should stay.”
Fang, who is in her mid-80s, is a prominent businesswoman in the Bay Area. Her family has published and owned a number of journalistic outlets, including the now-defunct San Francisco Independent and Asian Week magazine. Fang herself was once the publisher of the San Francisco Examiner.
Fang bought the so-called “Flintstones House,” located on 45 Berryessa Way, in 2017 for $2.8 million, according to SF Curbed. It was originally built in 1976 by famed Bay Area architect William Nicholson.
After she bought the house, a resident noticed 15-foot dinosaur statues along with large mushrooms sculptures start to crop up on the lot and alerted the town to the fact that Fang did not have the proper permits. The property is easily visible from Interstate 280.
In addition to the argument that the project is unsightly, Hudak said the large statues could be falling hazards, and that the deck and stairs leading to the area with them need to have additional safety features.
“The point of going through the permitting process is to give neighbors and the town staff an opportunity to balance out the rights of private owners to do things on their property against the rights of neighbors and community standards,” Hudak said.
Fang has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit, and then a hearing will be held on the matter.