“Over-the-top” doesn’t begin to describe the summer 2013 wedding of Facebook billionaire Sean Parker and singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas.
Parker spent $US4.5 million to transform a campsite in Big Sur, California into a magical forest paradise, complete with animal-skin chairs, silk flower petals, goats, and a pony.
All 364 guests — including Jack Dorsey, Mark Pincus, Dustin Moskovitz, and Chris Hughes — were given Tolkien-esque costumes made by Academy Award-winning designer Ngila Dickson to wear during the ceremony.
Parker faced heavy criticism after the wedding, since the preparation required installing temporary structures in an ecologically sensitive area, and he failed to obtain the proper permits from the California Coastal Commission.
As part of a $US2.5 million settlement with the Commission, Parker has agreed to build an app that will help people find and access public beaches in California. The app will belong to the Commission, and Parker will develop it himself, the Mercury News reports.
According to Sarah Christie, a spokesperson for the Commission, enlisting Parker’s help “gives us access to the most cutting-edge technology,” she said. “This is an example of lemons turning to lemonade.”
All of California’s beaches are public, but private landowners sometimes block access with gates and “No Trespassing” signs. In September, the Commission ruled that Silicon Valley VC Vinod Khosla was in violation of California law when he changed public access to Martin’s Beach, where he owns property.
Parker’s app, which isn’t yet complete, would help users find ways to find public-access points at beaches in the area. A similar app was built for Malibu beaches earlier this year after entertainment mogul David Geffen blocked a path that led to the beach there.
Parker will also pay $US1.4 million in grants, which will go toward preservation and outreach efforts in Big Sur.
“Alexandra and I are proud to support organisations that promote education, access to and the conservation of the Big Sur coast,” Parker said in a press release. “In working closely with the California Coastal Commission to select the recipients, we believe that these grants build on our long-standing commitment to Big Sur and will help ensure that present and future generations continue to benefit from this American treasure.”
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