Mark Zuckerberg’s construction of a 6-foot wall around his oceanfront property in Hawaii has reportedly made him a lightning rod in the community.
The wall around the 32-year-old Facebook billionaire’s more than 700-acre Kilauea property is reportedly being built to block noise from nearby roads.
Local residents are complaining, however, that the wall will block their views and the ocean breeze.
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“The feeling of it is really oppressive. It’s immense,” Kilauea resident Gy Hall told The Garden Island newspaper. “It’s really sad that somebody would come in and buy a huge piece of land and the first thing they do is cut off this view that’s been available and appreciative by the community here for years.”
Other neighbors who spoke to the newspaper described the wall as a “monstrosity” and not “neighborly.”
“I’m super unhappy about that. I know that land belongs to Zuckerberg. Money is no option for him. I’m 5 [foot]8, and when I’m walking, I see nothing but wall,” Kilauea resident Donna Mcmillen told The Garden Island. “It just doesn’t fit in with the natural beauty that we have here. There are people on the island who money can pay for anything. These kind of things that they do take away what Kauai is all about.”
According to Forbes, Zuckerberg spent upward of $100 million in 2014 to acquire the property, on Kauai’s North Shore. The Facebook CEO and his wife, Priscilla Chan, have an infant daughter.
Neighbors told The Garden Island they have tried to reach out to Zuckerberg, whose primary residence is in California, through letters and even signs on the wall.
“Somebody has been putting up signs, appealing to Zuckerberg’s generosity and humanity — polite signs on the wall — but those signs just get ripped off as soon as they appear,” Hall said. “There’s a total disconnect from what the community is concerned about and what he wants.”
In a statement, a representative for Zuckerberg’s Kauai operation told ABC News the wall is compliant with the area’s rules and regulations.
“Rock walls like this one being built along the roadway are routinely used as sound barriers to reduce highway and road noise, and that is its primary purpose,” the statement read. “The sound barrier follows all regulated rules and regulations by the county, and our entire team remains committed to ensuring that any development respects the local landscape and environment and is considerate of neighbors.”
One resident told ABC News the wall is traditional lava rock, which is consistent with the area.
Other observers are questioning if Zuckerberg is building the wall as a privacy measure. All beaches in Hawaii are open to the public, meaning anyone could approach the property by water.
His possible privacy concerns made headlines recently after he posted a photo on Facebook with his laptop in the background, its camera and microphone jack apparently covered by tape.
The privacy measures were spotted by Twitter user Chris Olson.