Billionaire Sean Parker, the Napster co-founder and early Facebook employee, has agreed to pay a $2.5-million penalty for the unpermitted development of an elaborate wedding stage in a coastal redwood forest.
Parker married singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas at the Ventana Inn & Spa in Big Sur on Saturday. He created a new firm, Neraida LLC, to put on the $10-million ceremony, which included constructing an arch, an artificial pond and a stone bridge. The scene had “artificially created ‘ruins’ of cottage and castle walls, multiple rock stairways and a dance floor,” according to a California Coastal Commission staff report posted online Monday.
Parker’s case was swept in with other violations by the Ventana Inn. The resort had illegally closed down a campground in 2007 and failed to provide a promised parking lot.
The Coastal Commission checked out the area on May 1 after receiving a tip about the construction in late April. Two days before the wedding, Parker signed a settlement agreement that allowed the wedding to go on.
About $1 million of the penalty would go into a conservation fund. The other $1.5 million would be granted to nonprofits to work on one or more conservation or public access projects.
Parker also agreed to help with an education campaign. He can either produce a video about coastal conservation or develop an iOS app that maps publicly accessible portions of the California coast. As part of the video option, there has to be an advertising plan designed to achieve 100,000 views of the video.
The Coastal Commission must still approve the settlement. It will come up at a June 14 meeting in Long Beach.
A commission official told the Associated Press that the development had not caused any major damage. Parker said in a statement that he and his wife had “always dreamed of getting married in Big Sur, one of the most magical places on Earth” and that he was “excited to support these important conservation-related projects for and with the local community.”
Parker’s lore grew in 2010 when he was protrayed by Justin Timberlake in “The Social Network,” the film about the creation of Facebook.