Promise of Paradise Episode 28: Norman de Vall

May 30, 2019

Norman de Vall in his home in the town of Mendocino. 2019
Credit Laura Hamburg

Today we'll be hearing from Norman de Vall of the town of Mendocino. Norman was a four-term Mendocino County Supervisor during the building code wars of the 70s and 80s. 

It was a time when the County pushed to outlaw the very houses the back-to-the-landers called home. 

It was also a time when tensions ran high, building inspectors might be armed and planning files went missing. The cabins the counterculture community built were targeted, red-tagged and declared illegal. 

The message was clear, hippies and beatniks weren't welcome. Back-to-the-landers should go back to the city. 

Norman de Vall and other others were at the forefront of this battle. 

Norman's leadership helped forge a compromise with the Couny and many hippie cabins were then brought up to code. 

The back-to-the-landers were here to stay.