Pandora Founder's Vacation Home Riles Neighbors, Tree Lovers

Richard Drew/AP Photo
Tim Westergren

"I don't think you purchase a forest and then move in and cut it down"

Some West Marin County residents are singing the blues over Pandora founder Tim Westergren's plans for a sprawling vacation retreat on the wooded site of a former monastery near the town of Inverness, population 1,300.

The Marin Independent Journal reports that Westergren has proposed building a nine-bedroom, modern 5,494-square-foot home along with a caretaker's apartment, meditation hut, lap pool, studio and two garages in a community where weekend cottages, rustic cabins and modest single-family homes are the norm. (The Inverness Association, a homeowners group, has concluded that the planned apartment would add six more bedrooms to the property.)

The newspaper says some of the Internet music mogul's future neighbors think his plans for the 17-acre property that used to house St. Eugene's Hermitage will spoil the area for artists and musicians of more modest means.

"I'm opposed to the removal of 48 of the trees on the property," said one resident in an Independent Journal video. "I don't think you purchase a forest and then move in and cut it down."

Westergren has insisted he is personally invested in protecting Inverness and wants to work collaboratively with the community.

"Our program will be light on the land and will be sustainably designed and built," Westergren wrote in an October 2013 email to his future neighbors. "We are big believers in integrating a home with its natural environment — minimizing the disturbance of both the land and the surrounding community."

This post originally appeared on Billboard.com.

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