Fred Flintstone fought the law – and he won.
Technically, the owner of a fanciful Flintstones-inspired house in a posh San Francisco suburb settled a lawsuit with the US town of Hillsborough. But the agreement will allow Fred and his friends to remain.
In a dispute that pitted property rights against government rules that played out in international media, retired publishing mogul Florence Fang defended her colourful, bulbous-shaped house and its elaborate homage to The Flintstones family, featuring Stone Age sculptures inspired by the 1960s cartoon, along with aliens and other oddities.
The town, however, called the towering dinosaurs and life-size sculptures “a highly visible eyesore” and sued Fang, alleging she violated local codes when she put dinosaur sculptures in the backyard and made other landscaping changes that caused local officials to declare it a public nuisance.
An attorney for the town previously said residents are required to get a permit before installing such sculptures, regardless of the theme.
Hillsborough went to court in 2019 after Fang failed to comply with multiple stop-work orders, as well as an order to remove the features around the multimillion-dollar property with its 2,730-square-foot home. Fang counter-sued.
Mark Hudak, an attorney for Hillsborough, previously said the town prides itself on its rural, woodsy feel, and rules are in place “so neighbours don’t have to look at your version of what you would like to have, and you don’t have to look at theirs".
According to records, the settlement stipulates that the town will review and approve a survey of the landscaping improvements. In turn, Fang will apply for building permits. The town will also pay Fang $125,000, and she will drop the lawsuit – which was dismissed in state court on April 27.