Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is building a wall. Not the “write something…” kind of wall he made some of his billions from, but a brick and mortar, Donald Trump kind of wall. And his neighbors on the Hawaiian island of Kauai are not happy about it.
Back in 2014, Zuckerberg bought a 700-acre property on the island for more than 100 million dollars, Forbes reported. The beachfront property, located on Kauai’s northeast shore, is a huge chunk of land — and Zuckerberg, 32, reportedly wants to make it as private as possible.
When Facebook inventor Mark Zuckerberg purchased over 700 acres of prime Kaua'i real estate 2 years ago, residents were nervous to say the least. What would the billionaire do in the way of development? Well, here's his latest contribution to the northeast corner of our fair island. #facebook #zuckerberg #property #kauai #realestate
A photo posted by Hike Kaua'i With Me (@hikekauaiwithme) on Jun 25, 2016 at 10:44am PDT
Now that the 6-foot-high wall is under construction along the perimeter of the property, some of Zuckerberg’s island neighbors are voicing their concerns, saying the wall blocks both the ocean view and the breeze.
“The feeling of it is really oppressive. It’s immense,” local resident Gy Hall told Kauai newspaper The Garden Island. “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.”
The wall is reportedly being built as a sound barrier for road noise. The total length is undetermined, but the wall is apparently legal.
“Rock walls like this one being built along the roadway are routinely used as sound barriers to reduce highway and road noise,” a spokesperson for the project told Gizmodo in a statement. “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.”
However, since all beaches in Hawaii are public, Zuckerberg won’t be able to extend his wall all the way to the beach, thus eliminating any chance he had of making his stretch of sand exclusive.
Zuckerberg isn’t the first tech billionaire to snatch up swaths of land in Hawaii. Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison bought 98 percent of the Hawaiian island of Lanai in 2012. Though Ellison said he wanted to make the island “a model for sustainable enterprise,” longtime residents of Lanai say a swiftly rising cost of living puts them at risk for displacement.
As Hawaii locals might say: Where’s the aloha, big tech?