Redford Sees Eco-Village as Indecent Proposal

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He’s one of Hollywood’s original environmentalists and was named an “environmental superhero” by Time magazine. But Robert Redford’s latest stance against the development of a new eco village in northern California’s Napa Valley is making his green credentials appear suspect.

Redford has joined the Save Rural Angwin, an action group hoping to block the development of an eco village consisting of 275 low-energy houses and a retirement home on 63 acres near Redford’s secluded wine-country estate. They are arguing that the development will destroy several fields and increase traffic in the area.

That might be true, but given the fact that thousands of new houses will be built in California in the next decade, a development that promises to do it sustainably – complete with solar power, electric car-sharing and recycled water – seems like the wrong kind of development to oppose.

Redford has been promoting renewable energy and eco-friendly design long before Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio became green superstars, so one has to wonder if this is a classic case of NIMBY.

In a statement, Redford said, -I believe that the citizens of Napa Valley care about preserving our beautiful agricultural and rural heritage. That is why I am happy to join Save Rural Angwin in its efforts to preserve this naturally carved land-basin from development.”

And yet Redford seemed perfectly happy to transform the natural landscape in Utah when he bought and developed 6,000 acres of mountainside and turned it into the Sundance ski resort. Do as I say, not as I do?