The Woodside Town Council listened to arguments Tuesday night for and against a permit request to tear down a 17,250 square foot house on Apple CEO Steve Jobs' property, but Mr. Jobs wasn't there to speak for himself. Instead, his attorney attended the meeting on his behalf and said that the famous CEO missed the event because of health concerns, according to the San Jose Mercury News.
Howard Ellman, Mr. Jobs' attorney, told the town council "I don't think he would be strong enough if we were here until 1AM, and I think there's a strong possibility of that."
Preservationists have been opposed to the demolition request because they say the house in question has significant historic value. 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.
Mr. Jobs is hoping to tear down the old house and build a smaller 6,000 square foot residence in its place.
According to the demolition request, restoring the current structure would cost about US$13.3 million, but building a new house would cost substantially less at $8.2 million.
Mr. Jobs began a six-month medical hiatus from his regular duties at Apple in January, leaving COO Tim Cook in charge. In a letter to employees, Mr. Jobs said "In order to take myself out of the limelight and focus on my health, and to allow everyone at Apple to focus on delivering extraordinary products, I have decided to take a medical leave of absence until the end of June."
Concerns over Mr. Jobs' ability to continue running Apple have run high ever since he underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004.
Mr. Elleman didn't elaborate on Mr. Jobs' health, although his absence from the Council meeting could raise concerns over his ability to resume his regular duties at Apple in June.