Court Says Jobs Can Tear Down Woodside House

Apple CEO Steve Jobs has been wound up in a multi-year battle to tear down a mansion in California, and a judge has finally given him the go ahead so he can apply for a demolition permit, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Mr. Jobs has been trying to get a demolition permit since 2001 so he can build a new house on the property, but a historical preservation group has been fighting to save the structure.

The house was originally built in 1925 for Daniel Jackling who made his fortune in copper mining. Mr. Jobs lived in the 14 room house in the 1980s, and then later used it as a rental property. It has been vacant and in disrepair for about ten years.

Uphold Our Heritage, the group that sued to prevent the Jackling house demolition,uccessfully stopped the demolition in 2006 after claiming Mr. Jobs and the town of Woodside failed to produce documentation that showed the house would be more expensive to preserve than to replace. Mr. Jobs later won town council approval in May 2009 with a new filing included information showing that it would cost over US$13 million to renovate the property, but only $8.2 million to start over and build a new house.

Mr. Jobs will have to turn over some historical artifacts from the structure to the city as part of demolition process, and Town Manager Susan George said that officials will need some time to review the demolition application.

Apparently Mr. Jobs is negotiating with Jason and Magalli Yoho who want to purchase and move the old mansion to a new location. Assuming they reach a deal “It would mean everybody would be happy,” said Save Our Heritage lawyer Douglas Carstens. “The house would be relocated and preserved.”

Save Our Heritage has not said if it plans to appeal the judge’s ruling.