Malibu, Calif., is different from most small cities. Having American Express' ultra-exclusive black card in your purse and a Mercedes in your driveway doesn't make you stand out. Having your face on the cover of Star Magazine doesn't mean people stop, stare and bow to your every whim.
In fact, if you're going to use the beach to fish for the paparazzi's attention, many Malibu residents would rather you didn't come at all.
This week, the city council passed a new law to restrict the use of beach homes rented by companies staging promotional events. Since their 2006 inception, these beach house parties have proved attractive to the likes of Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and the associated paparazzi that follow.
"Imagine parties every night until 4 in the morning when you're trying to sleep just eight feet away in the house next door," said Councilman Andy Stern, who sponsored the new ordinance. "These weren't just people having a good time; they were commercial enterprises in residential areas that would be operating 24/7 during the summer months."
One such corporate-funded rental was the Polaroid Beach House, located along a strip of sand referred to as Billionaire Beach.
Celebrities happily arrived en masse and basked in the free food and products from whatever brand name was sponsoring that day's event.
In return, the stars posed with these products for the swarming paparazzi. Critics said this glitzy scent soon turned into a pungent tabloid aroma that began to take its toll on residents.
And when one particular resident is real estate and insurance mogul Eli Broad, whose net worth is just south of $6 billion, any B-list bravado soon melts away.
"On any given Monday morning, Eli Broad would be calling city hall with a list of what he'd had to put up with the previous weekend," said Jay Marose, a PR guru who worked alongside Fingerprint Communications in developing the Polaroid Beach House.
"Located between what used to be our house and the Silver Spoon Beach House he had to put up with paparazzi literally circling around his property," he said.
Marose told ABC News he had it on good authority that this type of media intrusion was a factor in the Arquette family's decision to recently sell its Malibu property.
However, the likes of Broad and film producers David Geffen and Jeffrey Katzenberg were not willing to move on. Along with other residents they made it clear to the city that celebrities belonged on set and not in their backyard.
"This place last summer just became overwhelmed by trash, cars and people -- we were basically trapped in our homes," said John Mazza, who has lived in Malibu for 35 years and counts Barbara Streisand among his neighbors.
"It used to be a sleepy little place where a different class of star would come to get away from it all," Mazza said. "Now these young girls like Britney Spears don't come here to relax but to be seen."
City officials said that the strong views of longtime residents were the key motivation behind the attempt to restore Malibu to its more tranquil past. The sheer number of unhappy homeowners was the driving force, not the status of an influential few.
According to Malibu City Manager Jim Thorsen, valet companies were the only third parties that profited from events that benefited only the sponsors that wined and the celebs that dined.
The new ordinance is expected to go into effect April 24, pending final approval.