Billionaire Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg is angering neighbors with construction plans at his Hawaii vacation property.
Zuckerberg is building a six-foot-tall wall around his waterfront property on the island of Kauai, and neighbors say it is blocking their ocean views and breezes, West Hawaii Today reported Tuesday.
Zuckerberg, 32, is the sixth richest person in the world, according to Forbes magazine’s most recent ranking of billionaires. He is also the world’s wealthiest Jewish person.
Neighbors told the Hawaii newspaper they are also upset that he began construction without first consulting them.
“The feeling of it is really oppressive. It is immense,” neighbor Gy Hal said.
Shosana Chantara, a Kilauea resident, said the wall is blocking air circulation.
“You take a solid wall that’s 10 or more feet above the road level; the breeze can’t go through,” she said.
“I’m 5’8” and when I’m walking, I see nothing but wall,” said neighbor Donna McMillen. “It just doesn’t fit in with the natural beauty that we have here.”
Zuckerberg purchased the 700-acre Hawaii estate for $200 million in 2014.
Neighbors say they have written to Zuckerberg, but received no reply. Hall said that signs placed on the wall explaining the neighbors’ concerns were quickly ripped down.
Maria Maitino, another Kilauea resident told the Hawaii paper she doesn’t understand why the wall is so high and that it “doesn’t feel neighborly.”
Neighbor Thomas Beebe, however, defended the wall in a text message to West Hawaii Today, saying it “appropriately makes use of local materials and serves as a tasteful reminder of an ancient method of defining boundaries.”
It’s not clear when construction will be done or whether it will encircle the entire property, and Zuckerberg hasn’t commented on it.
He and his wife Priscilla Chan announced in December that they will donate 99 percent of their Facebook shares over the course of their lifetimes.