The owner of the controversial ‘Flintstone House’ in Silicon Valley says the city discriminated against her after they called her house a ‘public nuisance,’ and now the case is going to trial

  • Hillsborough, California called the town’s famed “Flintstone House” is a “public nuisance,” and said that the owner lacked permits for additions to the property in a recent lawsuit.
  • Owner Florence Fang, who bought the house in 2017, countersued, alleging that the town is discriminating against her.
  • In September, Fang won the right to go to trial on the issue of discrimination over her treatment by the town.
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Florence Fang, the owner of the famous Flintstone House in Hillsborough, California, is locked in a legal battle with city officials.

The city of Hillsborough sued Fang in March 2019 claiming her house didn’t have the proper permits for modifications made, including lawn ornaments of large dinosaurs and a sign that said Yabba Dabba Do. The lawsuit also called her house a “public nuisance.”

Fang hit back with a countersuit of her own in April, claiming the city was discriminating against her based on national origin. In late September, a judge ruled to let Fang’s case move forward.

Keep reading for the full story of the town, and how it got to this point.

Hillsborough, California is a wealthy town in the San Francisco Bay area with a median home price of over $4 million. Local zoning laws only allow large single-family dwellings, and because of minimum lot sizes, there are no apartments or townhouses in the town, according to local media.

Source: Zillow, San Mateo County

Architect William Nelson designed the now-called “Flintstone House” — a 2,700 square foot dwelling constructed in 1976 as part of an experiment with domed buildings.

Source: Business Insider

The house was originally off-white, with orange and purple added after 2000.

Source: Business Insider

The house has been known as “the dome house,” “the bubble house,” and other names throughout its history.

Source: LA Times

It has three bedrooms, and all interior areas are rounded.

Source: Business Insider

By the 1980s, the home had fallen into disrepair. San Francisco architect Eugene Tssui partially remodeled the home.

Source: Mercury News

In 2017, Florence Fang purchased the house at 45 Berryessa Way for $2.8 million.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Fang installed dinosaur sculptures, a woolly mammoth, a giraffe, and Fred Flintstone figures. “I see any dinosaur, I buy it,” she told the Guardian in May.

Souce: The Guardian

In March 2019, Hillsborough filed a complaint against Fang, alleging that she did not have proper permits for her additions to the property, and calling it a “public nuisance.”

Source: SFGate

On May 8, Fang filed a counter-suit alleging that Hillsborough discriminated against her.

The 20-page document elaborates on specific instances of what Fang saw as discrimination.

The suit claims that Tim Anderson, a Hillsborough building official, has a history of discrimination against people of color, especially people of Asian descent. “He has told at least one individual of Asian origin that ‘You have to speak English when you are in Hillsborough,'” according to the suit.

Anderson did not respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.

The suit also alleges that Anderson performed an illegal, warrantless search of the property, upon which the stop-work order was based in December 2017.

Fang’s lawsuit also claims that Anderson spoke to contractors on a list she was given by the town and that as a result none of them would work with her.

In September, the court overruled Hillsborough’s demurrer on the point of discrimination, meaning that the case will proceed to trial. Attorney Angela Alito told Business Insider “the case is moving along.”