A technological seer, Kapor should have seen this one coming. Berkeley's NIMBYs are some of the more voracious in all whinerdom. The city's newspaper, The Berkeley Daily Planet, is a veritable journal of NIMBYism, with much of the paper dedicated to expressing outrage at proposed construction.
Theirs isn't just idle whining: Thanks to the near-impossibility of building anything in Berkeley, the city tore down 800 more housing units than were built during the 1990s. During the last 30 years of the 20th century, Berkeley lost 5,182 people, so inhospitable are locals to providing more room for people to live.
Perhaps Kapor imagined his plans might have been treated gently given his role as an icon of the libertine ethos Berkeley is famous for. He is, after all, a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, the nonprofit dedicated to protecting free expression on the Internet.
Berkeley NIMBYs, wily creatures that they are, have actually attempted to turn his role as a civil liberties pioneer against him. The lawsuit noted a citizen's appeal against the proposed house that noted it would be used for -- gasp! -- gatherings by charitable organizations:
Among other things, the appeal noted that property owner Mitchell Kapor had publicly disclosed his intention to use "a substantial part" of the proposed new home for philanthropic fundraising activities, forecasting use beyond those at a typical residence.