California Forever accused of ‘strong-arm tactics’ in land talks

A group of Silicon Valley tech giants who are taking over Bay Area farmland in hopes of turning it into a new city have been accused of employing “strong-arm tactics” and “divide and rule” tactics. has been applied. As much area as possible. Many local farmers say that Flannery Associates, the parent company behind the quixotic California Forever project, has used underhanded tactics in its pursuit of regional real estate hegemony. allegations revealed In a recent court filing Related to a lawsuit related to a land dispute.

In August, The New York Times informed of Flannery, which was a completely mysterious company at the time, had managed to purchase $800 million of agricultural land in the Solano County area. The Times also revealed that Flannery was backed by a group of influential Silicon Valley billionaires, including Marc Andreessen, Reid Hoffman and several other big names in the tech industry. It was revealed that Flannery’s grand plan was to use the purchased land to build a utopian new city, which the Flannery group is calling “California Forever”. The so-called city is entirely imaginary at the moment, but its supporters say it could one day be a beautiful, bustling city of the future.

Of course, the first step to building this new libertarian wonderland was to buy up as much land as possible, and to do that, Flannery had to buy out the people who were already living there. For the most part, the people who already lived there were operators of longtime, family-owned farms.

In some cases, negotiations between company lawyers and potential sellers did not go the way Flannery wanted and, in May, the company sued several farmers, claiming they engaged in anti-competitive practices and price fixing. Were engaged. Farmers, in turn, have accused the billionaire-backed corporate entity of trying to intimidate and manipulate them and their families into selling their land. In recent court filings, the farmers rejected the lawsuit’s claims, alleging that Flannery had repeatedly employed “coercive tactics” in an effort to expropriate the land.

The filing said such tactics allegedly included “attempts to play one family off against another by misrepresenting the families’ intentions regarding Flannery’s offers, in the hope that families willing to sell would But you will feel pressure not to let your friends and neighbors down.” In one specified case, farmers claim Flannery contacted a family member, obtained from them one-eighth of a large tract of land owned by the family, then turned on the other seven family members in an effort to acquire the entire parcel. Filed a lawsuit.

But its websiteCalifornia Forever has denied the allegation that it has done anything untoward, instead describing the farmers as “a small group of individuals (who) engaged in a targeted campaign to discredit Flannery Associates”. And who is engaged in a nefarious work. Secret conspiracy.”

In general, it seems really hard to imagine that this project will ever come to fruition. Even if Flannery somehow manages to smooth things over with the locals, the project still needs to clear several states. Regional regulatory barriers, Those obstacles seem questionable because of many local politicians expressed doubt About the feasibility of the project. If They The obstacles, somehow, are overcome, then the proponents of the project actually have to do it. Construction The majestic metropolis that developers are imagining. after He, people will have to move there and the city will have to maintain a certain level of population density for the foreseeable future. Then the city’s creators will have to actually run the city… you know, forever.

This inspires a lot of questions. For example, will California have a government forever? If yes, what type of government will it be? Or is it going to be some kind of corporate-owned series of planned communities, somewhat like an expanded version of Disney’s StoryLiving, This whole thing sounds like a big expensive mess that’s doomed to fail, but I guess you should never count out the disruptive potential of a tech mogul’s undeniable ego.

(TagstoTranslate)California Forever(T)Reid Hoffman(T)Tim Flannery(T)Marc Andreessen(T)Gizmodo

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