Complaints Drive Cost of Parker's Wedding Up $2.5M

Napster founder pays huge settlement after not getting proper permits
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2013 6:21 AM CDT
In this Feb. 11, 2012 file photo, Sean Parker, left, and Alexandra Lenas arrive at the Pre-GRAMMY Gala & Salute to Industry Icons with Clive Davis honoring Richard Branson in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (AP Photo/Vince Bucci, file)

(Newser) – Sean Parker's wedding reportedly cost $9 million (the AP has it at $10 million), but all that money still didn't manage to get Parker the permits he needed. Instead, the California Coastal Commission says, the Napster co-founder and Facebook billionaire just went ahead with building his wedding site (the AP calls it "movie-set-like") in an ecologically sensitive part of California's Big Sur. Picture: a cottage, fake ruins, waterfalls, staircases, and, of course, a giant dance floor ... steps away from towering redwoods and a stream home to threatened steelhead trout. Though the commission admits the construction caused no major damage, it says Parker has agreed to pay a $2.5 million settlement that will fund coastal conservation programs.

Parker has area residents to thank for the additional wedding expense: Complaints from neighbors prompted a county investigation, during which the commission discovered the construction at the Ventana Inn & Spa's closed campground (it's in the coastal zone, an area the commission regulates). The resort is negotiating its own settlement. Here's the odd part: The commission discovered the structures before the big event, and allowed the wedding to go forward anyway. And here's the sort of ironic part: Instead of gifts, Parker requested donations be made to Save the Redwoods or the California League of Conservation Voters.

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