Iconic Flintstone house of San Francisco survives lawsuit

The Flintstone house of San Francisco will remain as iconic as ever after owner settles a lawsuit against the town of Hillsborough.

Florence Fang, who owns the house, was sued by Hillsborough, California, because her recent renovations violated local codes and amounted to public nuisance.

Hillsborough harshly criticised the dreamlike architecture of Fang’s house as “a highly visible eyesore,” and asserted that she should have acquired a permit before giving her backyard a makeover.

Image: Emily Mibach


The house was designed by architect William Nicholson in the 1970s, and features colourful, rounded structures and many Flintstone-themed pieces.

Her disputed renovations included statues of the Flintstone characters, a sign reading “Yabba Dabba Doo“, a new deck, a staircase and a parking strip.

The town chose to take Fang to court in 2019 after refusing to comply with repeated stop-work orders.

The orders outlined that since Fang was making changes to an area greater than 10,000 square feet (approx. 900sqm) she was required to seek approval from the planning department.

In court, Hillsborough noted that the town is known for its rural atmosphere, which was allegedly spoilt by Fang’s house.

Fang countersued, alleging that Hillsborough’s case was motivated by racial discrimination, as Fang is a Chinese woman in a town where the majority population is white.

She furthered that it was likely that other neighbours underwent renovations without acquiring a permit, and yet were not receiving the same criticism.

The result of the case was that Fang will receive a permit allowing her to make her desired renovations, and she will be paid $125,000 USD to cover legal fees.

Fang’s house can be seen from the I-280, and will thankfully can remain as a beautiful ornament of 1960s nostalgia in the San Francisco bay area.

Fang herself is an important resident of the area, a successful retired publisher who in 2000 became the first-ever Asian American owner of a major daily US newspaper.