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Tesla Faces Local Backlash Over Plan for Massive Gigafactory Party

  • Travis County officials granted Tesla party permit unanimously
  • Auto maker has faced protests against its environmental impact
The Tesla Gigafactory under construction in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 1. 

The Tesla Gigafactory under construction in Austin, Texas, on Feb. 1. 

Photographer: Thomas Ryan Allison/Bloomberg

Tesla Inc. is facing opposition from community and environmental groups over its plan to hold a party for 15,000 people to celebrate the opening of its gigafactory in Austin.

The company intends to offer tours of the 8 million-square-foot facility, food and two stages with live music at the invite-only event on April 7, according to plans submitted to Travis County, which encompasses Austin. Officials on Tuesday granted approval even after hearing testimony from concerned neighbors.