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Marin County planners approve George Lucas' controversial plan to expand filmmaking operations
SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) ' County officials on Monday approved a controversial plan by filmmaker George Lucas to expand his digital empire on historic farmland north of San Francisco.
The six-member county planning commission unanimously voted in favor of the proposal to build a 270,000-square-foot digital media production compound in a quiet valley that has been home to Lucas' Skywalker Ranch for three decades.
Opponents of the project have two weeks to appeal the commission's decision.
The complex would be next to Lucas' other filmmaking operations ' Skywalker Ranch and Big Rock.
But neighbors say the giant complex with generate noise, traffic and environmental damage on pristine land about a half-hour drive north of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Lucas representatives say the Grady Ranch facility will create hundreds of jobs in Marin County and won't lead to the traffic and noise residents fear.