Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker agrees to fine over forest wedding

Tue Jun 4, 2013 11:27pm EDT
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By Ronnie Cohen

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Billionaire Sean Parker has agreed to pay a $2.5 million fine for failing to get permits to build a fairytale set in a redwood forest for his wedding last weekend, a California Coastal Commission staff report said.

Parker, the first president of Facebook Inc and co-founder of the music-sharing website Napster, wed singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas on Saturday in a celebration in a closed public campground at the luxury Ventana Inn and Spa in Big Sur.

The preparations included building staircases, digging an artificial pond, erecting stone gateways, walls and a bridge, grading and contouring roads to create what looked like ruins, installing lights and planting more than 125 trees and plants, some adjacent to the creek, according to the report.

Staff for the commission, which regulates development along the Pacific Ocean, knew of the wedding in advance and feared that the wedding could imperil ancient redwoods and a creek deemed critical for a steelhead fishery, the report said.

"The unpermitted development has thus impacted the existing redwood forest habitat and has likely caused sedimentation of Post Creek," the report said.

The 12-member commission is scheduled to consider the proposed settlement agreement at a meeting in Long Beach on June 14. The fine would be used to improve coastal access and recreation in the area, according to the report.

It says that in addition to paying the penalty, the 33-year-old groom has said he would restore the wedding site to its condition prior to his developing it for his dream wedding.

Parker said in a statement that he and his bride were "proud to be working with the Coastal Commission to develop public-benefit programs that will provide greater coastal access and expand conservation areas for everyone while building greater awareness of the incredibly beautiful Big Sur area."   Continued...

Sean Parker attends the eG8 forum in Paris May 25, 2011. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes