The city of Hillsborough filed suit against Florence Fang, owner of 45 Berryessa Way—aka the “Flintstone House”—and now thousands of people have signed a petition backing Fang in her scuffle with city hall.
The Hillsborough City Council objects to Fang’s prominent and provocative additions to the famous property’s front yard after she bought the place in 2017, including several novelty dinosaurs to compliment its modern Stone Age architecture.
More importantly, the city’s litigation alleges that Fang made several illegal and unpermitted alterations to the home and yard that it deems “life-safety hazards.”
Regardless of what happens in court, the court of public opinion favors Fang and her Hanna-Barbara inspired eye for design. San Jose resident Helen Garcia’s public petition on Change.org backing Fang netted more than 12,000 signature in six days.
Garcia’s impassioned plea-slash-chastisement declares “Flintstone House stays!” However, this is a bit misleading, since, as Garcia notes later, the city is not interested in doing away with the house but instead with Fang’s more recent additions to the property’s landscape.
A great many supportive comments on Garcia’s petition come from people who seem to think that the house itself is in danger.
“It’s been around for years and never posed a problem before, so why now?” one backer wonders, apparently not caught up on the fracas over alterations in the last two years.
Nevertheless, popular support for Fang and her house is prominent on the site.
“As the following petitioners, we stand together saying that we love this setup, paint scheme, statues, and all,” writes Garcia.
“Homeowners pay property taxes and should be allowed to decorate their home and yard however they please,” notes Sacramento resident Damiana Wilson on the petition.
“I love driving by and seeing the dinosaurs,” adds San Francisco resident Lisa Barnett.
Pacifica resident Luke Easter chides the city, saying, “It’s called private property for a reason.”
The petition has a 15,000 signature goal, which, at this rate, it’s likely to reach within a few days.
It seems unlikely that Hillsborough will drop its complaint against Fang over the alleged hazards on her property.
However, if nothing else, Garcia has proven that, decades after being derided as an oddball in ritzy Hillsborough, the Flintstone House has achieved a level of widespread acclaim that few pieces of private property in the Bay Area can match.