Marin County planning commissioners voted unanimously Monday to back filmmaker George Lucas’s plan for a massive digital production studio on the old Grady Ranch in Lucas Valley. The vote came after nearly six hours of staff and public testimony, during which supporters lauded Lucas’s long history of stewardship and opponents railed the project as a potential blight on the environment and adjacent communities.
Aimi Dutra, president of the Marin Builders Association, said the project would bring untold value to a struggling construction industry. “We’re in crisis right now,” she said. “This will give a lot of people jobs.”
The commission approved a more intensive plan for the Grady property in 1996, so their support came as little surprise. Commissioner Wade Holland said his job was to ensure that the new master plan complied with the previous one. “We can’t go back and undo the 1996 master plan we already approved,” he said.