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An illustration shows a fountain with statues of Yoda and Indiana Jones, two characters from films by George Lucas. The fountain is part of a park proposed by the filmmaker to be built in downtown San Anselmo.

A plan to create a park in downtown San Anselmo that will house bronze statues of Indiana Jones and Yoda, two characters created by filmmaker George Lucas, moved a step closer to fruition Monday night.

Members of the San Anselmo's Planning Commission gave their unanimous approval for the project, which San Anselmo Chamber of Commerce President Connie Rodgers hopes to see completed by June 1.

"There was zero opposition," Rodgers said.

Lucas has donated the land for what will be a 8,700-square-foot park and the statues. The filmmaker, who recently sold most of his entertainment holdings to The Walt Disney Co. for $4 billion, will also pay to demolish the 6,500-square-foot commercial building that currently occupies the space, which includes addresses 535, 539 and 541 San Anselmo Ave.

The San Anselmo Community Foundation, a nonprofit organization that Rodgers established in 2000 to forward the interests of the local business community, will raise the money to pay for and maintain the park.

So far, however, no one seems to know exactly what those costs will amount to.

"We really don't have cost estimates at this point yet," said Natalie Delagnes Talbott, who serves on the foundation's board and serves as its legal counsel. "We're trying to get as much as we can donated."

Rodgers said an endowment will be created to ensure that there will be sufficient money in future years to adequately maintain the park.

"We want to establish a fund of at least $150,000 for ongoing maintenance," Rodgers said.


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As part of the Planning Commission's review of the project, more information became available on what the park will look like.

The park will contain three "meandering" paths that will lead to a circular fountain at the west end of the parcel, and benches will be placed adjacent to the paths. The fountain, which will contain the two bronze statues, will be approximately 15 feet in diameter.

The statue of Indiana Jones will be about 6 feet in height while the Yoda statue will be about two feet tall.

A similar Yoda fountain is located at the entrance to the Letterman Digital Arts Center in San Francisco, where Lucas moved most of his Marin operations in 2005.

Both statues will be placed on a four-foot high boulder and will feature accent lighting from below. The northern section of the park will contain low evergreen shrubs and perennial plantings.

A historical fresco that was located in the building to be demolished has already been relocated at Lucas' expense. The fresco, which depicts the history of pharmacology, was painted in 1945 by Jose Moya del Pino, a founding member of the Marin Art & Garden Center in Ross.

The building in which the fresco resided was built the same year to house the Rossi Brothers Pharmacy.

Contact Richard Halstead via e-mail at rhalstead@marinij.com