Nearly 20,000 people have signed an online petition in a bid to save a “Flintstone” home at the centre of a planning row.
The house, an architectural homage to 1960s cartoon The Flintstones, has been a landmark in Hillsborough, California, since it was built in 1976.
However, the addition of colourful mushroom ornaments and dinosaur sculptures by new owner Florence Fang last year has met the ire of planning officials, who say the property is a public nuisance and landscaping was added without permits.
NBC Bay Area reported that a lawsuit had been filed “because the landscaping improvements create a highly visible eyesore and are out of keeping with community standards” and that an order “required that they be removed”.
“It’s not really about the quality of what she has put up, but the fact that she has not gone through the proper process,” said Hillsborough assistant city attorney Mark Hudak.
Ms Fang, 83, bought the house last year and recently added dozens of colourful mushroom ornaments and animal sculptures in the grounds of the bulbous building which is visible from a nearby motorway.
“Before, passing by, I always wondered who’s living in that house. Now I’m the one,” Fang told reporters.
The homeowner usually allows people visiting to take pictures of the house, but drew the line when returning home to find children playing on her roof.
Fang added the final touches after buying it for $2.8m (£2.1m) last year.
Helen Garcia, who started the petition, wrote: “As a child I would drive to San Francisco with my family to see my grandmother. I would wait patiently until I was able to catch a glimpse at the Flintstones house. At that time it was just orange and round and it intrigued me.
“Now when I drive my daughter up north, she waits to see the house and the steel statues that line the yard. She is a huge fan of the T-Rex.
“Removing the statues would devastate her and many of our childhood memories we have of this beautiful home.
“In a land of forest green there is a home where, in our childhood imagination, Fred and Wilma greet each other and say ‘I’m home’.”
Many supporters have left comments on the e-petition page. One said: “I drive by and see this house. It is iconic! Don’t demolish someones home because you feel like it.”
Another wrote: “I love that house, it is an icon in Silicone Valley!”
A third person added: “Owners should be able to modify their houses to their own liking. It’s a historical treasure, leave the owners alone!”
Ms Fang’s lawyer said the town officials were denying Ms Fang’s right to enjoy her own property and pledged a vigorous fight.
The homeowner sent out an online note thanking her local and worldwide supporters.
“It made me realise that I am not the only one fighting for the legendary Flintstones,” she wrote.
“It is truly an American memory that makes people smile and feel good about themselves. Let’s keep Fred and the Dino alive and work together to keep on smiling.
“Yabba dabba doo!”
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