Image 01 Image 03

Kanye West’s ‘Star Wars’ Domes for Homeless Battles the ‘Dark Side’ of California’s Permit Process

Kanye West’s ‘Star Wars’ Domes for Homeless Battles the ‘Dark Side’ of California’s Permit Process

Meanwhile, Los Angeles residents are angry with officials, and are demanding change after homeless crisis explodes.

The last time we reported on rapper and mega-celebrity Kanye West, he had jumped back on board the Trump Train after taking a break from politics.

Now, West’s latest project, Star Wars style domes designed to use as homeless shelters, has met the Dark Side of the California permitting process.

The simple, domed structures — evocative of the desert aesthetic of Tatooine in the film franchise — came to public attention in early July when they were mentioned in a Forbes story about West. The rapper-entrepreneur and his team had been working on the prefabricated prototypes for a year, the magazine said, with an eye on solutions for L.A.’s affordable-housing crisis.

…The first inspector deemed the structures to be temporary, but the second noticed concrete pads under the buildings and declared them permanent.

West now has to deal with a citation issued at the end of July ordering him to present plans for approval, or tear the huts down, the sites said. He has 45 days to comply, which puts D-day (that’s “D” for deliver or destroy) at the middle of September.

Kanye chose to construct the project on the Hidden Hills property that he and wife Kim Kardashian first purchased back in 2014.

Sources familiar with the project previously said it will ‘break barriers that separate classes… namely, the rich, the middle class and the poor.’

In an earlier interview with Forbes, West told a reporter that the domes could ‘hopefully be used to house the homeless, having them live in spaces said to be sunk into the ground’.

…’There, with the hazy heft of something enormous and far away, stand a trio of structures that look like the skeletons of wooden spaceships,’ Zack O’Malley Greenburg wrote of the project in Forbes cover piece on Kanye.

‘They’re the physical prototypes of his concept, each oblong and dozens of feet tall, and West leads me inside each one. He tells me they could be used as living spaces for the homeless, perhaps sunk into the ground with light filtering in through the top. We stand there in silence for several minutes considering the structures before walking back down to his lurking Lamborghini and zooming off into the night.’

The people living around the 300 acres of aren’t too happy about all the commotion these futuristic domes are causing.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles residents are angry with officials and are demanding change after a homeless crisis spirals in the city.

…Failed liberal policies coupled with decades of neglect and mismanagement have turned an old problem into a modern-day nightmare. Some fear the City of Angels is at the point of no return and are angry at elected officials who talk a big game but rarely deliver.

“I don’t want to see them on camera anymore,” Marquesha Babers, who lived on Skid Row as a teenager, told Fox News. “I don’t want them to write any more articles about how much they care or how much they’re trying to change things. I want to see them do it.”

Across the state, officials have long lamented the horrors of homelessness while failing to pass any meaningful legislation. Homeless advocates accuse those in charge of using the crisis to further their own political aspirations and manipulating an environment that allows them to dodge accountability.

“The best we get out of those elected to deal with problems are soundbites,” Pete White, the founder of the Los Angeles Community Action Network, told Fox News. “Soundbites that say ‘it’s a humanitarian crisis’ and that ‘we have to do something’ only to see that something be either nothing or pathways to criminalization.”

So, the politicians and bureaucrats are acting to stop a Trump-supporter from doing more than generating soundbites. I do not think this approach is going to work out as well as the #Resistance in California is hoping.

As Yoda would say: “Do. Or do not. There is no try.”

[Featured image via YouTube]


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


So how would this work? Do the homeless get public transportation to these domes or do they have to walk? Aren’t these facilities just shiny new magnets attracting and subsidizing the growth of homelessness?

What happens when the homeless get to the domes they almost surely won’t want to live in? How do you keep them there? Lock them up? The courts have already made it illegal to pick them up and institutionalize them.

And once there, what do you do with them beyond providing a place to sleep? Most of them are mentally deranged drug-addicts. They need help. Real help.

Homelessness can only be solved by addressing the root causes: drug use and serious mental disorders. To me, this seems to me to be another well-intentioned waste of time and money that will only spread the blight further into the neighborhoods.

    daniel_ream in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 20, 2019 at 10:50 am

    All of this ^ The problem isn’t that the homeless don’t have homes.

    Given the current political climate, I’m wary of a return to the state having the ability to declare someone mentally unfit and incarcerate them “for their own good”. You know the Ctrl-Left would use this for political intimidation. I just don’t have a better suggestion.

      Just another fear-based excuse for doing nothing. There were lots and lots of crazy people locked up in mental institutions before Geraldo Rivero led his campaign to “liberate” them 40 years ago. Cause and effect. The law needs to be challenged.

      The problem isn’t what the Control-Left will do if the law is changed but what WE are going to do to protect our own rights. That is just surrendering to chaos and mayhem.

        I think the mental health deinstitutionalization movement began during the mid to late 1950’s. I believe it all began as a nationwide project with the disclosures of rampant institutional cruelty alongside the discovery of Thorazine.

        For instance, the then governor in California, Edmund G. Brown and the legislature passed bills mandating the closure of California’s state owned mental institutions – of course the bulk of those facility closings fell to Ronald Reagan and Reagan was compelled by law to do so – and that’s how the myth that Reagan was a heartless, coldblooded conservative began. And that myth persists to this day. The NYT’s conveniently leaves that part out in a twenty-plus year old explainer-article.

          Nevertheless, a large portion of those who would have been placed in mental institutions are now ending up in prison or homeless. Prisons and the streets have replaced mental institutions.

          We have had a sharp increase in violent crime and homelessness as a result of the state emptying its prisons of “non-violent” inmates. Despite redefining what “violent” means, the crime rate is exploding. And then there is sudden re-emergence of the bubonic plague.

          That’s government for you. They can’t do ANYTHING right.

      What has to happen is our society has to de-normalize drug use and mental illness again. Until that happens, we can’t even try to solve this, for the very reasons you state.

      Almost all the solutions to our current crises revolve around re-centering the electorate on morals and a decent education (critical thinking and actual facts of history). Until we accomplish that, the best we can hope for is a less left-wing leadership.

    JusticeDelivered in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 20, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    How many of these people actually want help? Can they be helped if they don’t actually want help?

    Most of the time, as soon as they can manage it, they return to their drugs. They are self destructive, we might delay their death, but they will still die.

    Observer in reply to Pasadena Phil. | August 20, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    Unless these domes are going to be hooked up to water, sewer, electric, etc., then they’re basically just fancy tent cities.

    Anybody who has been around people who live like this know how they get their water and go to the bathroom — they just go and “shower” in the nearest building where there is water, and they take a dump wherever they feel like it. I once worked in a bank building where some local homeless people would come and “bathe” in the restroom sinks. The place would look like a bomb had gone off after they’d finished.

    And if these domes are going to be hooked up to utilities, who is going to pay for that? Who is going to pay for the land, and who is going to pay for all the maintenance and repairs that will be needed to fix all the stuff that routinely gets broken, because we know that drug addicts and the mentally ill are not going to be using care with this property.

    It’s fine to want to come up with more affordable housing options, but we need to recognize that even the cheapest possible housing is not going to solve the problems that cause so many people to be homeless.

    BTW, the article mentions what is being built on his property are ‘prototypes’. So, I presume the actuals would be built in the city or nearby.

    He did screw up in not getting permits. In every locale I know of, if you’re putting down a slab, you HAVE to get a permit.
    (That’s why no one puts backyard sheds on slabs.)

Silly questions — public transport is out of the question!

Along with free health care and free drugs and free catered gourmet meals and free housekeeping and free designer wardrobes, each and every one of these individuals will be provided with a valid CA drivers’ license and a free car . . . surely it’s been thought through.

(But don’t ask who’s gonna foot the bill unless you’re talking to a democratic presidential candidate)

Wasn’t he broke just recently?

Failed liberal policies or fraudulent liberal policies?

Are the homeless an unintended consequence to be fixed or a feature not to be fixed? It appears that this potential solution must be stopped (aborted) before it develops.

The bureaucracy is a powerful weapon with great endurance and controlled by the “leaders” to attack or block as needed.

Los Angeles passed a 1.2 billion bond measure in 2016 to build housing for the homeless. They built 72 units. Cost per unit? Almost $700,000. SEVEN HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS PER APARTMENT.

Wherever you find liberals (leftists, progressives, democrat/socialists) you find failure, fraud, waste and abuse.

JackinSilverSpring | August 20, 2019 at 11:23 am

So, the residents of Los Angeles are unhappy with the current state of affairs regarding the homeless. What do they expect when they vote they do?

The politicians in San Diego act as if they don’t know that the homeless population is ever-renewable, and that positive feedback draws them from all over the country.

Anacleto Mitraglia | August 20, 2019 at 11:35 am

Is there a way to see the design of the interiors?

Most all of the problems in the cities of failures in housing are the result of laws put in place that supposedly were to assist the poorer inhabitants with housing.
Rent control is at the top of the list, followed by zoning and building laws as we see in this instance and more directed at the homeless are SRO zoning and rules that wiped out the SRO hotel as a cheap means of housing.
If they would allow some safety standards and then did away with other more onerous but self serving rules and regs and allowed builders to be creative, eventually the price of housing would go down. But it would take time and that’s why it’s never done. The politicians need results now and the public won’t wait because they’ve been lied to so long they don’t trust any time limits foretold.
Takes time for the amount of housing to exceed requirements so that rents begin to fall. That’s also dictated by how fast new units are put up and where. That could all be solved but it would impinge on some unions rice bowl or some politicians donor. Thus nothing gets done and the problem keeps going.
Probably they’ll solve it after one of the larger cities either burns down or becomes a plague vector.

Incarcerating them for drug use would solve the problem. If they can’t function in the free world, then the humane solution is an institutional world.

    CKYoung in reply to Andy. | August 20, 2019 at 10:25 pm

    California took the teeth out of all it’s drug laws. What used to be arrestable felines are now cite and release infractions. Most of the laws we neutered by deceptively named voter propositions, such as the “safe streets act.” Calkfornia has systematically empowered criminals and drug users while restricting/limiting the police and district attorneys.

ScottTheEngineer | August 20, 2019 at 12:44 pm

Let them sell their U.S. citizenship to the highest bidder then deport them?
Forcing junkies into rehab won’t solve the problem. They have to want to be clean. They’d rather be high than live.

2smartforlibs | August 20, 2019 at 12:45 pm

If you want to build these things on the cheap this isnt the way to do it. Decades ago this was attempted and they used blatters under fresh concrete than inflate the blatter.

West is reinventing the wheel. Geodesic domes are modular, and those modular sections can be fabricated from recycled plastics.

At least West is doing something proactive. I’ve transitioned from thinking that he’s a bit of a kook to believing that he’s a decent man with the will and means to help people.

It is rather unfortunate that the anger of the citizens of LA won’t result in them not voting Democrat.

    yeppers. Not one “tough on drug and property crime” candidate in Seattle advanced from the primary elections.

    Seattle is getting exactly what it voted for.

    It’s freaking biblical.

“I don’t want them to write any more articles about how much they care or how much they’re trying to change things. I want to see them do it.”
“Damn it. They keep promising me stuff, but it never shows up!”

But there are no plastic bags or plastic straws! Far more important that feces, needles, garbage, and rats.

    venril in reply to tz. | August 21, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    See, we’re too ignorant to see the subtlety and genius of their grand scheme.

    It’s extraordinarily subtle

Drug-addled crazy people are swarming California and will not move into shelters no matter what. They prefer to live on the streets. Building them apartments or homes is wasteful virtue signaling. The only real solution is institutionalizing them but this won’t happen under current laws. So the only temporary solution is to run them out of town like Culver City and other smaller cities do. But that just kicks the can down the road and solves nothing. CA is now a one party state and the ruling class doesn’t care about public opinion because the rulers know they will get re-elected no matter what.
The upper and middle classes virtue signal about their “concern” but keep their gates closed. .They will revolt only when tent cities begin appearing in their neighborhoods, and it may already be occurring. CA is a sinking ship whose captain says “all is well” , and even tho many passengers are seeing water coming down the passageways, they are wondering who will mop it up. No need for life vests! We have great weather! All is well!

Subotai Bahadur | August 20, 2019 at 4:56 pm

You have to understand that California is a lost cause, is no longer part of our country, and every homeless person they attract is one less we have to deal with.

While it is a different city up the coast from LA, there was something I saw from FOX News this morning that explains why. San Francisco. Just as buggered up as LA, but with its own twists. And as noted in the piece, it is one of the 4 major homeless centers on the West Coast with the same problems. The other two being Seattle and Portland.

San Francisco was forced, in order to continue to receive Federal grants for the homeless, to do a census of the homeless. Their census showed an increase of 17% over the last year. But they admit that they changed their definition of homeless from what they have been using for years because otherwise the figure would have been a 30% increase in one year. Think about that.

Then their spokesman laid the blame, in the city’s view, for the reason for the increase. “Too many large companies have been bringing in too many well paid jobs to San Francisco, so the cost of housing was going up rendering people homeless.”

The solution, one would assume, would be jobs leaving San Francisco. A consummation devoutly to be wished.

Subotai Bahadur

I’m certainly no expert on this topic. But it seems to me that that this is a multi-tier problem, which has gotten so out of control that “comprehensive” solutions will not begin to address the multiplicity of issues. First and foremost, I am certain that various welfare agencies and the police can easily identify 2 groups of individuals who are responsible for a great percentage of the problem. I’ll call them the druggies and the mentally ill.

The druggies are the addicted, whose entire existence is devoted to the next fix. They are the ones who are breaking into cars, shoplifting, mugging, and stealing whatever they can…even from each other. These people need to be removed from the street on criminal charges. Incarceration must include medical assistance to treat their addiction. After that, they need to be reconnected (exportation from the homeless scene) to their families for support and ingress into a drug/alcohol – free community.

The mentally ill are those who everyone in the community know. They are shouting at the world from street corners, hearing voices, hallucinating, disrupting traffic, accosting bystanders. Many of them have been diagnosed and refuse medication. I am certain that the cops (as well as the homeless community) know who the worst offenders are. Get them off the street and into a mental health track, even one that is involuntary.

The remaining homeless are mostly down on their luck and cannot afford a safe place to live. Homeless shelters are known to mix all “homeless” together, making them unsafe even for those that are trying to gain a stable footing. Shelters should be only for those who are trying to get their lives together. And there has to be a level of security and support among those who live there. This is, I think, the population Kanye West is trying to address.

Look, I live in a tiny, East Coast town that has zero homeless. California used to be the leading edge of cultural change, and to many Silicon Valley companies and tech overall it’s been the Mecca for social progressives. Now, even those who work in these tech enclaves are choking on human waste and needles in the streets. And living in vans. Californians are starting to say “do something.” And those of us reality-based folks look at LA, and just shake our heads, because this was totally predictable.

tommy mc donnell | August 20, 2019 at 11:13 pm

the homeless crisis isn’t a crisis to the communist politicians of California it is a successful result of their policies. it is a Marxist’s job to destroy the existing order.