After Mark Zuckerberg started building a wall along his retreat in Hawaii, some of his neighbors aren’t pleased with the new view.
Zuckerberg initially purchased the Kilauea, Kauai, property in 2014; it spans over 700 acres on the coast, and it cost Zuckerberg more than $100 million, according to Forbes magazine.
The wall in question started being built six weeks ago and runs next to a road along the property. The wall currently stands about six feet tall and is made out of rock. It is still unclear when the wall will be completed and how long it will eventually be.
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Residents have expressed a variety of reasons for their displeasure of the wall.
One resident criticized Zuckerberg for obstructing the view citizens have long enjoyed while remarking on the liberties that wealthy people seem to enjoy.
“I’m super unhappy about that. I know that land belongs to Zuckerberg. Money is no option for him. I’m 5’8″ and when I’m walking, I see nothing but wall,” Donna Mcmillen, a Kilauea resident, told The Garden Island. “It just doesn’t fit in with the natural beauty that we have here. There are people on the island who money can pay for anything. These kind of things that they do take away what Kauai is all about.”
Similarly, Kilauea resident Gy Hall said, “The feeling of it is really oppressive. It’s immense.”
“It’s really sad that somebody would come in, and buy a huge piece of land and the first thing they do is cut off this view that’s been available and appreciative by the community here for years.”
Kilauea resident Shosana Chantara said the wall obstructs the island’s natural breeze: “It’s hot behind that wall. Because it’s up on a berm, there’s not a breath of air on this side from the ocean. You take a solid wall that’s 10 or more feet above the road level; the breeze can’t go through.”
Other residents have tried getting into contact with Zuckerberg, but were unsuccessful.
“Somebody has been putting up signs, appealing to Zuckerberg’s generosity and humanity — polite signs on the wall — but those signs just get ripped off as soon as they appear,” said Thomas Beebe, a neighbor adjacent to the wall. “There’s a total disconnect from what the community is concerned about and what he wants.”
On the other hand, Zuckerberg’s camp contends that there is a good reason why he constructed the wall.
Lindsay Andrews, a spokeswoman for the billionaire’s Kauai property operations, said that the purpose of the rock wall is to reduce highway and road noise. Similar walls are routinely used for this purpose and the wall follows all rules and regulations, she told The Associated Press.
Zuckerberg himself has yet to comment.