Neverland residents have blasted a report that Michael Jackson’s family and the owners of famous ranch have agreed to turn it into a Graceland-like amusement park.
Bob Field co-creator of the Never! Protest group exclusively told RadarOnline.com that the neighbors would ‘fight tooth and nail’ to stop the project which aims to ‘cash-in’ on the tragic star.
Private equity firm Colony Capital – who own the famous 2,676 acres estate – have agreed on trademark names with the family and would like to open it up to the public by Christmas.
The developers went to the US Patent and Trademark Office on August 12 to lodge several names.
It is tentatively being named under Sycamore Valley Ranch LLC – which it was known as before ‘The King Of Pop’ bought the secluded estate near Santa Barbara in California.
Jermaine Jackson is reportedly working with Colony Capital and is very eager to get Neverland opened-up as a tribute to his late brother.
But activist and local resident Bob Field has blasted any such move claiming that 90 per cent of the local residents are against turning it into a tourist attraction.
He told RadarOnline.com: “It is fantasy to think that Neverland will be opened-up to the public by Christmas that is just impossible. They would have to go through the local authorities to obtain a permit and an environmental impact report and all of these things would take years.”
Field added: “The irony is that none of the local residents had anything against Michael Jackson, in fact we liked having him here, but he bought Neverland because it was so remote and secluded. The infrastructure is just not in place to cope with masses of people that this sort of tribute would attract and it would be better placed in Las Vegas or Los Angeles.”
The local residents had two meetings with Colony Capital in mid-July and Tom Barack from the company gave no sense that he was in a hurry to do any such development.
“The local councilor for Los Olivos Doreen Farr is also against any such project and it will be really difficult for them to make this happen.
“The reality is that it’s 5 miles to the nearest gas station or bathroom from Neverland and the rural roads could not cope with masses of traffic.
“If Colony Capital believe that Neverland is going to be open to the public by Christmas time they are totally delusional.”
Jackson lived at Neverland for almost two decades but after he was cleared of child molestation charges in 2005 he vowed never to return.
His brother Jermaine wanted him to be buried on the estate but he was over-ruled by the rest of the family and he was recently interred at the Forest Lawn cemetery in Glendale instead.
Local residents opposing the development of Neverland into a theme park have created their own website at Nevereverland.org.
Colony Capital have no comment, however, a source tells RadarOnline, “No decision has been made on the plans for the property.”