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Jobs sits out meeting on Woodside controversy

updated 12:00 pm EDT, Wed April 29, 2009

Jobs skips Woodside meet

Apple CEO Steve Jobs was absent from a Tuesday town council meeting over the fate of his historic Woodside property, writes the Palo Alto Daily News. Representing Jobs was lawyer Howard Ellman, who claimed that ongoing medical problems would prevent Jobs from actively participating in the debate. "I don't think he would be strong enough if we were here until 1 AM, and I think there's a strong possibility of that," said Ellman early into the proceedings.

Jobs is seeking to tear down a 17,000-square-foot mansion he owns, with the purpose of constructing a new and more modern house. The mansion was originally built in 1925, however, for a regionally famous copper miner, Daniel Jackling. Courts have argued that neither Jobs nor Woodside have done enough to try and save the house; also rejected was the town's suggestion that a restoration would be "economically infeasible," given that no estimate was provided for a new house.

On Tuesday, Ellman's team responded with consultant projections that a restoration would cost $13.3 million, some $5.1 million more than the cost of a proposed building. The figure has been challenged by mayor Peter Mason though, who observes for instance that while flooring in the new home would allegedly cost $12 per square foot, a restoration of existing flooring is estimated at $22 per square foot. Ellman suggests that Jobs' team has already gone into more detail than required. "This gives you the ability to grant the permit and make the findings you have to make," he said at the meeting.

A former resident of the Jackling house, Clotilde Luce, has called for the town to get an independent estimate on the potential costs of disassembling the house and moving it to another location. Luce has also accused Jobs of not working hard enough to find a restoration party, citing e-mails from a man named Paul Berger, who has proposed moving the old mansion to Napa. While Ellman has described the offer as not serious enough, Luce suggests that it was only an initial submission, and that Jobs could make a contribution as high as $5 million to move the project along.

A ruling on the Jackling house is expected at a future meeting.

by MacNN Staff




  1. Roehlstation

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Come on

    He is expected to pay 5 Million dollars to move a house he has no interest in saving? Don't you love forced charity?

  1. bfalchuk

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It makes sense

    The $5m figure is based on the cost difference between restoring it and building the house he wants to build. He should technically be indifferent between a restoration and a rebuild plus paying the $5m to move it.

    Those aren't the choices he sees, though. He sees restoring or demolishing and rebuilding with zero contribution since there's no move.

    Basically, if the court decides he can't demolish it, then he'll either have to restore it or move it (at his or someone else's cost).

    I don't understand why he doesn't just sell it and build somewhere else.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969


    a bit much

    does MacNN have to follow this story blow-by-blow? Maybe we can expect regular updates on what Jobs has for dinner each day too.

  1. eldarkus

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Copper miner?

    "A regionally famous copper miner"

    are they serious?

  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    It's like they say

    When it comes to local government, Cali is a whole 'nother country. Although being forced to cut down centuries-old trees in your yard because they block the solar panels your neighbor just installed is just about as bad.

    Working with OSHPD from out of state is bad enough. You folks who have to live with stuff like this have my pity.

  1. Salsa

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Forced Charity

    "Don't you love forced charity?"

    I'm not particularly found of that stuff, but that is why I live in Florida instead of California.

  1. johncarync

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Who is more famous?

    Which will be more historically important: Mansion built in 1925 for copper miner Daniel Jackling -or- mansion built in 2009 for Apple co-founder Steve Jobs? I have to admit I would pay to see the Jobs mansion.

  1. mac_rich

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Been there

    I lived in a heritage home and there are a lot of people out there who LOVE these old homes. I lived in a hundred year old home, quite old for a Vancouver home and people were very distraught when they proposed knocking it down for a new place. In a situation like Jobs, why doesn't he move it to another spot on the estate, subdivide the property and still build his new home? He could potentially make another few million by doing this. Keeping neighbours and historians happy and his pockets full!

  1. cebritt

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Shake down

    "and that Jobs could make a contribution as high as $5 million to move the project along."
    That's called a shake down. Sheesh. There's really nothing special about this house. I suggest he hire a house hitman who could start a fire and make it look like an accident.

    "...then he'll either have to restore it or move it"
    Wrong, he can afford to let it just sit their and continue to deteriorate. Once the roof goes bad, it won't be fixable.

  1. climacs

    Joined: Dec 1969



    I don't understand why he doesn't just sell it and build somewhere else.

    Uh, because it's his, he bought it fair and square and he should be able to do with it as he pleases (within the law)?

    What if he sells it and buys somewhere else where there's some old house that some old biddy doesn't want him to tear down because it's over 50 years old? SSDD.

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