We are unpersuaded. First of all, as already noted, this issue was not in any way central to the holding of Press. Indeed, it would appear from the opinion that the point (i.e., the satisfaction by appellant of the third statutory factor) was not even contested by the respondent there. Second, and more importantly, although the court does indeed use the terms “pecuniary interest” and “financial incentives” in the brief paragraph and footnote it devotes to the issue, it does not hold that such are the only type of personal interests that would disqualify a litigant from a fee award. Indeed, the court also uses the term “concrete personal interest in the issue being litigated” as a capsule description of the sorts of “interest” it was describing.
There was nothing “abstract” and everything “concrete” about the interests so tenaciously asserted by this appellant in the court below. Those interests related directly to a specific piece of real property owned by him: his family home. The record before us makes manifest that, whatever the impact of the planned 2617 Sutter building on the monetary value of that piece of real property, appellant had a strong personal and property interest in not having a 7000 square foot, three-unit building erected next door to his home. The record before us is replete with references by appellant to the substantial “intrusion” which would be effected by the new building, the significant blockages of light, views and air which would result from its construction, the negative impact on his and his neighbors’ privacy, the lack of adequate parking which was to be provided, etc., etc. These assertions were supported by, among other things, a large number of photographs of the existing views and available light. Even more importantly, the submissions made to both the trial court and, before it, the Board, stressed the overall harmonious character of this 100% Victorian-structure block of Sutter Street and the significant aesthetic loss which would result from the intrusion of something so completely out of architectural context as the proposed new structure.
Those interests are not even slightly “abstract.” Thus, a trial court does not abuse its discretion in concluding that a property owner’s interest in maintaining the aesthetic integrity of his immediate neighborhood and protecting both his property’s privacy and its