When it comes to keeping track of the most famous social networking icons, I usually turn to The Social Network to remember who played them to determine their importance. Since Justin Timberlake played Sean Parker, I know he’s the top of the mountain, and that explains why everyone is freaking out right now over his super-expensive and super-duper-private medieval wedding that took place last Saturday at the Ventana Inn & Spa in gorgeous Big Sur.
So what’s the big deal – some rich dude who co-founded Napster and was Facebook’s first president shelled out $10 million to create a Game of Thrones-ish set for his special day in one of the most beautiful places in California, if not the entire United States. Well, it turns out he didn’t bother with that whole getting the permits aspect of it, and that’s a big no-no, especially since he built elaborate set pieces and ruins in the redwood forest.
Because he didn’t go about it the right way, Parker was nailed by the California Coastal Commission with a fat $2.5 million fine. That’ll show him, right? Get technical on our asses, CCC!
Violation Descriptions: 1. Within the existing privately run public campground, unpermitted development including, but not limited to: grading; construction of multiple structures including a gateway and arch, an artificial pond, a stone bridge, multiple event platforms with elevated floors, rock walls, artificially created “ruins” of cottage and castle walls, multiple rock stairways, and a dance floor; and installation of over 125 potted trees, potted plants, event tents, port-apotties, generators, lighting, and wedding facilities for guests.
2. Violation of Special Condition 1 of CDP No. 3-82-171, as amended: Closing an existing campground without an amendment, as the permit required. 3. Violation of Special Conditions 2 and 3 and Standard Condition 3 (Compliance) of CDP Amendment No. 3-82-171-A: failure to provide public area and parking at Cadillac Flats.
BOOM! Hammer dropped with authority! Except it kind of wasn’t, because while Parker paid the $2.5 million with no quarrel and even boasted about how he’s excited to be helping with the preservation of the amazing forests, it was all a little too convenient, according to the San Francisco Chronicle:
In a too-close-for-comfort twist, two of the highest officials in the state were reportedly at the star-studded event, Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom and California Attorney General Kamala Harris.
Harris is the top law enforcement official in California. Newsom’s state website says the Lieutenant Governor serves on the Coastal Commission in alternate years, but his office said he does not. Newsom does serve on the Ocean Protection Council every other year.
And about that whole threatening a species thing:
The campground in question is adjacent to Post Creek, a spawning habitat for steelhead trout, a species the federal government lists as threatened.
“Steelhead populations require, among a variety of other factors, the maintenance of low instream turbidity and water temperature, both of which are highly susceptible to degradation by anthropogenic activities,” the commission report said. “Development resulting in erosion along waterways increases the sediment load in streams which can smother eggs and occlude light necessary for aquatic flora photosynthesis and growth.”
Basically, there was an outside chance that if Lars Ulrich – who actually attended – puked in the creek, he could have been responsible for the extinction of the steelhead trout. In that case, it would have been more like the Red Wedding, am I right, GoT amigos?
Well, I thought it was funny.