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This Township Doesn't Want His MTV
Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | 6/29/04 | Benjamin Y. Lowe

Posted on 06/29/2004 10:28:44 AM PDT by marshmallow

"Bam" Margera's "Jackass!" spinoff, chopper landings, heavy metal and all, has made him few friends in his new town.

Six days after Pocopson Township ordered him to cease and desist, Brandon C. "Bam" Margera was still making his MTV show on his 13.8-acre spread last week.

Since February, Margera has been taping episodes for his MTV Networks Inc. show, Viva La Bam, at his home, a renovated farmhouse. The show is a spinoff of Margera's previous series and movie Jackass!

He paid $1.2 million for the property and moved in four months ago, expecting that all that acreage would provide a peaceable buffer for his neighbors. It apparently has not.

Margera was not sure which event at the estate got him in trouble with the township, where the median house price was $450,000 in 2003. Maybe it was the episode that featured the heavy-metal concert, or the one with the helicopter landing, or the demolition derby, or the encampment of Civil War reenactors.

But on June 16, the letter from the township ordered him to cease and desist, and get rid of the TV production gear and props in 30 days.

"Ever since he moved in, he has been terribly popular in the neighborhood," supervisors Chairman H. William Sellers said facetiously. As for the letter, "the question is whether he is running a business in a residential neighborhood," Sellers said.

Margera said noise from his stunts was a small price for the West Chester area to pay for the money and notoriety he has attracted. He said his show had an $8 million budget, much of it spent on local catering and equipment rentals.

"West Chester is the place to hang out now," he said. Some locals said it was "presumptuous" of Margera to attribute the county seat's recent prosperity to him rather than its numerous new businesses, restaurants and art galleries. "There are other dynamics that have more influence," West Chester Borough Mayor Dick Yoder said.

"It's one neighbor who spends all day complaining," Margera said. "The noise is just like hearing someone build a deck, or a dog barking. We're no more of a nuisance" than that.

Margera and MTV said they would appeal the order, which they have until July 16 to do.

"We've been having amicable discussions with Pocopson Township authorities, and look forward to reaching an agreement soon," MTV spokesman David French said. He would not elaborate.

William Harwood, the township's code-enforcement officer, declined to comment.

Township officials declined to talk about specific incidents and would not identify who had complained. Residents also have complained to the state police in Avondale, who patrol the township, and the Federal Aviation Administration, both agencies said.

As a result of the noise complaints, the production crew shifted most of the work to the front of the house.

The crew also installed a plastic tarp hung like a shower curtain at a gap in the treeline at the edge of Margera's property. Margera said it was a sound barrier.

Last week, Margera taped an episode about his reunion with Johnny Knoxville, who was in Margera's original Jackass! series.

In the episode, Knoxville woke Margera by cutting off the roof of Margera's $62,000 Hummer H2. He and costar Ryan Dunn used a 6-inch power hacksaw on the roof and a pickaxe to bang out the SUV's widows.

"We're making it a convertible because it is summertime," Knoxville said while camera crews scurried around him.

The saw-on-metal grinding was loud enough to drown out the sound of single-engine airplanes flying above, and the sound of a full-size pickaxe breaking the truck windows echoed like gunshots across the property.

"I would rather be doing it by the garage," director Troy Miller said. "But we're doing it here to keep the neighborhood at bay."

A state trooper arrived exactly an hour after taping began, though he said he was on a routine patrol.

Margera had his scripted revenge on Knoxville on Thursday, when he and guest star Sean Penn painted Knoxville's car green and dragged Dunn's motorcycle from his new Hummer convertible.

This is the fourth time in two years that municipal authorities have had to act as a result of Margera's show, which glorifies "stupid human tricks."

His parents, Phil and April, paid a $600 fine after Margera got an elephant to visit their home in nearby Concord Township, Delaware County.

In September, East Goshen Township asked Margera and crew to cease production at an apartment complex there. The township said it was an illegal commercial activity in a residential area.

West Chester police arrested four people in October who were caught taping a man urinating from atop a downtown garage. Three pleaded guilty to summary offenses of disorderly conduct while the fourth, Jared Hennegan, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct.

French said MTV had no comment on those incidents.

'Viva La Bam' cast member Johnny Knoxville takes out the back window of Margera's Hummer H2 after sawing through part of the roof. Residents have complained to state police, and township officials have issued a cease-and-desist order.

TOPICS: Culture/Society

1 posted on 06/29/2004 10:28:45 AM PDT by marshmallow
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To: marshmallow

Too bad no municipal golfcourse is planned for this guy's spread?

2 posted on 06/29/2004 10:36:43 AM PDT by blackdog (I feed the sheep the coyotes eat)
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To: marshmallow

This guy knows how to party!

3 posted on 06/29/2004 10:38:09 AM PDT by shadowman99
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To: marshmallow

My former nieghbor across the road took helicopter lessons. He was hovering over his fence line for a few day that summer. Nobody gets off this rock alive. Being so pissy about your neighbors having fun is a waste of time.

My new neighbor dynamited a swimming pool out of granite. She also ripped out 100 acres (no exaggeration) of rocky pasture and made it smooth so her horsies would not stubb their hoofies. Apperently the horsies are worth that much.

4 posted on 06/29/2004 10:39:24 AM PDT by eno_
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To: marshmallow

Way to go Bam. Skateboarding is not a crime! Its great to see capitalism succeed in all its many different interesting facets!

Bam Margera is helping out his local economy, by putting his hard earned money back into his community! The people should be thankful the young millionaire is not moving off to the burbs of San Fran like all the other young professional skaters these days!

Bam may be a complete goofball, slacker, millionaire but it is quite obvious he has a great/healthy relationship with his parents. Its too bad more of americas youth cant ber the same way!

5 posted on 06/29/2004 10:55:00 AM PDT by sober libertarian (skate fast die young leave a pretty corpse!)
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To: eno_
Being so pissy about your neighbors having fun is a waste of time.

I have to agree...unless it is REALLY out of hand. Then you may have to do something. I don't know just how far they've gone with this MTV show.

6 posted on 06/29/2004 10:56:12 AM PDT by TankerKC (R.I.P. Spc Trevor A. Win'E American Hero)
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To: marshmallow
Margera had his scripted revenge on Knoxville on Thursday, when he and guest star Sean Penn painted Knoxville's car green and dragged Dunn's motorcycle from his new Hummer convertible.

Sean Penn starring on Jackass. Too funny

7 posted on 06/29/2004 12:24:34 PM PDT by CharlieOK1 (Funny how Vietnam vets are 'baby killers' and pro-aborts are 'defenders of women')
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