Don't look for Facebook/Napster billionaire Sean Parker to be friending Big Sur folks any time soon, but it looks like his mega-wedding at Ventana Inn is proceeding on schedule despite a code enforcement run-in with the state Coastal Commission and Monterey County.
According to a representative for the event host, Parker's wedding to singer-songwriter Alexandra Lena is expected to go ahead despite a pair of code enforcement investigations by the Coastal Commission and the county into allegations that construction for the lavish event was being done without building permits. Media reports had suggested Parker was considering other potential sites for the ceremony, which reportedly includes cinematic-style set designs such as fake ruins, waterfalls and bridges, at a whopping $10million cost.
"We are in frank, candid conversations with the county and the Coastal Commission staff," Monterey attorney Aengus Jeffers said Monday, confirming that the plan is for the event to proceed as planned.
On Monday, Coastal Commission planner Mike Watson confirmed that an investigation was underway into "some construction that might have occurred" without permits, but referred any further questions to enforcement division chief Nancy Cave, who did not return phone calls from The Herald.
Also Monday, county planning director Mike Novo confirmed in a report to the Board of Supervisors that a code enforcement investigation was opened based on the allegations that construction was underway without permits.
Novo reported that county officials determined no building permits were needed for what was seen on the site at the time of the county's inspection earlier this month. He indicated the matter was turned over to the Coastal Commission, which has jurisdiction over land use permits for the site because it is in the coastal zone, adding that commission staff is checking to see if there were any violations of the site's permits or regulations.
If a county permit is required for the event, even for temporary structures or large tents, Novo said the Ventana Inn property owner or their representative would need to acquire one.
The county has not heard back from commission staff yet, according to Novo's report.
According to county spokeswoman Maia Carroll, the county's code enforcement case wouldn't be formally closed until the Coastal Commission reaches its conclusions.
Novo pointed out in his report that code enforcement investigations are confidential with the exception of any public documents, adding that no such documents are currently available.
If the amount of activity at Ventana Inn on Monday was any indication, event organizers are still determined to meet the reported June 1 wedding day. Trucks loaded with massive industrial generators parked nearby while uniformed security closely guarded the entrance to the 40-acre Ventana campground where Parker's nuptials are to be held.
The campground was reportedly already closed to the general public for sewer system repairs.
Media reports have speculated that the social media icon's elaborate ceremony will be fantasy-themed — think "Game of Thrones" and "Lord of the Rings" — because Parker reportedly hired the Rings trilogy costume designer for the event.
Contact Jim Johnson at <a href='mailto:email@example.com'>firstname.lastname@example.org</a> or 753-6753.