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Sean Parker agrees to $2.5M settlement over wedding venue

Founder of Napster Sean Parker (L) and soon-to-be wife Alexandra Lenas attend the World Premiere of 'Downloaded' during the 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival at Paramount Theatre on March 10, 2013 in Austin, Texas.
Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW

It appears that former Facebook president Sean Parker has inadvertently become an environmentalist to save his wedding.

He has agreed to dole out $2.5 million in a settlement with the California Coastal Commission over the construction of an immense wedding venue in an ecologically sensitive area of state. That comes on top of the $10 million he spent on his lavish wedding this past weekend to singer-songwriter Alexandra Lenas.

In a little nook of the redwood forest in Big Sur, Calif., Parker commissioned the custom-made construction of what seems like a small village for his wedding day. In addition to a gated cottage, fake ruins, bridges, and ponds, a specially constructed dance floor decorated with imported plants is being erected, according to the Atlantic.

The problem is, all of this construction commenced without the proper permits being in place, according to the Associated Press. And, the custom-made village was apparently a little bit too close to the redwood forest and a stream where threatened steelhead trout live.

The California Coastal Commission caught wind of Parker's plans after being tipped off by aggrieved neighbors. By the time it checked out the area, many of the structures for the wedding were already built. According to the commission, Parker has been very cooperative in the settlement.

"We always dreamed of getting married in Big Sur, one of the most magical places on earth," Parker said in a statement (PDF). "In continuing my foundation's mission, we are excited to support these important conservation-related projects for and with the local community."

The commission allowed Parker to proceed with his wedding plans on the condition that he pay the $2.5 million, which will be used for coastal conservation and access. Parker has also agreed to create a video or app that will pinpoint areas of the coast that the public can access.

The California Coastal Commission staff will oversee the dismantling of the venue to ensure no environmental damage takes place. The Ventana Inn & Spa owns the land where the wedding will be and is negotiating a separate settlement with the commission.

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    Dara Kerr, a freelance journalist based in the Bay Area, is fascinated by robots, supercomputers and Internet memes. When not writing about technology and modernity, she likes to travel to far-off countries.