HILLSBOROUGH, Calif. (AP) — Towering dinosaurs stand among fanciful mushrooms in the sloping backyard. A life-sized Fred Flintstone welcomes visitors near the front door. And by the driveway on the lawn is a giant “Yabba Dabba Do” sign in orange, purple and red.
The latest battle in the war between government rules and property rights is playing out in a posh San Francisco suburb, where a retired publishing mogul has installed an elaborate homage to “The Flintstones” family. The bold, bulbous house is surrounded by Stone Age sculptures inspired by the 1960s cartoon, along with aliens and other oddities.
The controversy has sparked international media coverage and an online petition signed by thousands to preserve the attention-grabbing property, visible from a nearby highway.
The 2,730-square-foot (832-square-meter) house itself is not at stake, but the town of Hillsborough says Florence Fang’s multimillion-dollar property is a public nuisance and an eyesore. Officials filed a lawsuit in state court last month to make her remove the unpermitted garden installations. Fang does not live in the house but uses it to entertain.
An attorney for the 84-year-old says snobby officials want to squelch Fang’s constitutional right to enjoy her yard, and promises a vigorous fight.
“Mrs. Fang has made people smile, she’s giving them joy. What’s not to love about Dino, who acts like a dog?” said Angela Alioto, a former San Francisco supervisor. “What is wrong with these people?”