City will not allow Steve Jobs to demolish own home

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by bodeh6, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. bodeh6 macrumors 6502a

    bodeh6

    Joined:
    May 18, 2005
    #1
    Looks like the City of Woodside where SJ lives will not allow SJ to tear down his own ~!7,000 sq ft home to build a newer ~6,000 sq ft home.

    BloomBerg

    MacDailyNews
     
  2. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #2
    This is why, roughly 95 times out of a 100, I think these historic preservation groups are a pain. I would love for Steve to invite a bunch of Mac heads out there to have some fun and check the area out. Maybe some of them would run into wall as further destroy it. If this place was a couple hundred years old, I'd understand the value (in an American hisoty sense). But thi splace just isn't that old.

    I'm so angry, I can't even continue to try to justify why I'm angry. Few things bother me the way this issue does....:mad:
     
  3. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #3
    Agreed. I hate the concept that "the public" should be allowed to force people to keep old buildings they own intact.

    Of course, I agree that zoning laws should restrict the building of outrageous structures. But, stopping people from tearing down their own property? Insane.

    Let the local government buy it instead and justify the cost during the next election.

    Historical Preservation Societies really burn my butt. If it's that damned important, let them buy the places themselves. Otherwise, make way for progress.

    Edit: I should note that it's unlikely I'll ever own a historical building, but the concept of "public right" to force private owners to maintain "historical" buildings irritates me.
     
  4. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #4
    As someone who makes his living in historic preservation, I thank you for this kind remark.
     
  5. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #5
    Then you hate all land use regulation. Correct?
     
  6. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #6
    I apologize for any personal aspect of my remarks, as well, but, truly, I do not believe in a public right to preserve private property. If it is truly important, let the government buy it.
    No. I don't disagree with some regulation over what a private owner can erect on his, her, or their property. I do disagree with a public "right" to preserve private property with respect to buildings on that property. I see no reason to disallow the destruction of any private building by that building's owner, certainly in cases where the building is unoccupied.

    If it's that "artistic" or such a fine display of someone's architecture, take pictures and put them in a museum, then tear it down.
     
  7. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #7
    In that case, do you also hate the fact that "the public" forces us to keep national monuments intact? Why can't Steve knock down the Washington Cathedral and build himself a nice new home?
    If you knowingly purchase a historical building, you take the responsibility of maintaining it. Why do you feel this is insane?

    This isn't a case of property. It's a case of art. The building is a work of art and Steve agreed to take responsibility for it when he purchased the property.
    Should governments purchase all privately-owned artwork in order to protect it?
    This is one of the most close-minded things I've ever read. Do you feel the same way about artwork? Should old paintings be painted over to "make way for progress"? Similarly, should historical buildings be knocked down and replaced with strip malls to "make way for progress"?

    Why not just paint over Picasso's works with advertisements. Make way for progress.
    If you purchase a historical building you will know beforehand that it is historical. You'll have to agree to maintain the house. That's part of the responsibility of owning a monument.
     
  8. ChrisWB macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago
    #8
    If famous works of art are that "artistic", take pictures of them and rip them to shreds.

    Do you have any connection to the arts?
     
  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    If they are private property, then the public should have no right to decide their fate. If they are of public value, the public should buy them via the government, or private institutions should purchase them. This, of course, is what happens in the case of good art.

    Note, though, that private art is purchased by the owner and then becomes the property of that owner. What they do with it should not be subject to the whims of the public.

    My connection to the arts is irrelevant.
     
  10. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #10
    there's already been a long thread on this exact issue, so I'll keep it brief...

    I disagree with all land use regulation except that which is actually for public health and safety (hazardous waste disposal, for example).

    IMO, "owning property" should mean that you have bought the right to do whatever you want with it unless your use does actual physical harm to others. If "the public" or a historical preservation society wants to tell me (or SJ, or anyone) what I can or can't do with my property, then I'd expect that group to subsidize my purchase. You want a say in what can be done with the property? Fine. Put your money where your mouth is and help me pay for it. Then we're co-owners and you have a say. Until you do that, do what you want with your property and stay the hell away from mine.

    I realize that's not how the law works, but it should be. This makes me furious. :mad:
     
  11. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #11
    It is a public right, so the Supreme Court has ruled. So you are truly incorrect.

    Given your explanation, it isn't clear to me what sort of regulation of land use you'd favor. Probably little or none, since all land use regulation prevents people from doing whatever they'd like with their private property. Historic preservation is no different than any other form of land use regulation, so your distinction is arbitrary.

    Incidentally, for those who'd like to understand the actual case at hand, the city ruled to allow the demolition, but was challenged over their implementation of the California Environmental Quality Act. The judge ruled that the city made mistakes. All of this turns on some fairly technical issues in the law that really have very little to do with the historical value of the house (which was decided long ago and is not really in dispute), or whether historic preservation is a legitimate exercise of government regulation (it most certainly is).
     
  12. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #12
    You must be very angry a lot of the time then.
     
  13. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #13
    Indeed, why not? What is the point of private property if, at any point, some group can consider it to be "historical" and block its demolition?
    I think the whole concept is ludicrous. If a building is purchased while already deemed historical, then, while I think it is ridiculous, I agree that the purchaser should be aware of the consequences the purchase. That does not mean I agree with it.
    Yes, that or private institutions. "Art" is a subjective term. Regardless, the mere fact that something is a work of art should not cause it to be preserved forever.
    Quite a leap there to associate a building with a piece of canvas. Artwork can be moved or given away. Buildings, apparently, cannot. But, yes, if the artwork is privately owned, let the owner burn it if they so desire. I suppose, to you, the concept of "ownership" is of no real value.
    So, you consider that house to be a "monument". Give me a break.
     
  14. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #14
    The fact that it is legally recognized as a right does not mean I agree with it. There are numerous similar examples with which I disagree. I'm not claiming that what's being done is illegal. Just that I disagree with it.
     
  15. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #15
    Yes, we've been here before. We might as well debate whether the sun rises in the east.
     
  16. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #16
    That's publically owned land. Steve doesn't own it, so he has no rights to it. Totally irrelevant comparison...

    Any artwork that they consider that important... yes. If it's really a national tragedy to lose it (such that legislating to protect it is necessary), then the government absolutely should buy it.

    Once again, a comparison that has no relevance whatsoever. There's no (realistic) limit to the number of paintings you can own/store/keep. There's a limit (and a very low one) to the number of houses that can be built on a given piece of land. Painting over the Picasso is completely unnecessary, but if you want a house in a particular location and there's already something there, the previous structure has to destroyed.

    That said, I have absolutely no problem with the owner of a Picasso painting over it if he so chooses. We have pictures of the original for historical value, and if it's really that important, the government can buy it and put it in the Smithsonian.
     
  17. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #17
    I would argue that the concept of the sun "rising" is inaccurate. The Earth simply rotates to allow it to come into view. ;)

    As far as the rest of this is concerned, I neither own, have owned, nor likely will own a historical building. I simply don't like the concept of public rights over private property. It's one of my few conservative tendencies.
     
  18. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #18
    no, because i generally stay away from stories like this for exactly that reason.

    You're mischaracterizing the issue. Debating where the sun rises would be debating what *is* true. Here we are debating what *should be* true. No one here is claiming that this is illegal; we are arguing it is unjust.
     
  19. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #19
    Actually, no. I'm not arguing that private property - property in the sense of land - should be unregulated. I agree that community standards should come into play, as well as environmental concerns. I don't think someone should be allowed to have a giant statue of a naked Michael Dell in their front yard, peeing a stream of poisonous mercury. I agree - as much as they can be a pain - with things like wetlands conservation. I simply don't think that a privately-owned man-made residential building should be maintained forever simply because part of the public likes it. So, as far as demolition is concerned, as long as it's done in an environmentally safe manner, I have no qualms with a private owner destroying their building.
     
  20. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #20
    That's just as well. People who don't appreciate old buildings should not buy old buildings. Plenty of people do appreciate them. In past threads on this topic, I've argued that since Steve clearly hates this property, he should sell it to someone who'd love to restore a house designed by one of California's most important architects. He would have no trouble finding buyers.
     
  21. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #21
    Personally, I am. I'm thinking of changing my moniker to mad jsw. But then I'd need to post much more often and change my 'tar to something that looks like a Windows desktop, and also, apparently, post lots of pictures of myself shirtless.

    For the sake of the MR community, I will try to calm down.
     
  22. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #22
    what happens if a "tree just so happens to fall on his house....." or just tear the thing down and use the 7 billion to pay off the historic people...

    why would you purchase a house that you technically can't own/change the way you want it?
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #23
    My point being that you seem to be unalterably opposed to the entire way local government regulates land use. This is bound to be pretty frustrating, whether you post to these threads or not, since it's pretty much universal and isn't going to change.

    I think it's a fair analogy. The sun rising in the east is a physical reality, and the ability of government to regulate land use is a long-standing legal and Constitutional reality. I'm not sure I see much point in arguing against either, though I can see the point in trying to better understand both, since one way or another, they are situations you'll have to live with.
     
  24. QCassidy352 macrumors G3

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #24
    Well, it's sure not going to change as long as no one speaks out against it.


    Don't be ridiculous. The sun rising in the east cannot be changed, not even by collective agreement of all 6 billion inhabitants of earth. The regulation of privately owned land is a far, far more mutable reality. Once upon a time it was inconceivable that people of all races would be equal under the Constitution, that women could vote and hold high office, and that homosexual conduct would be seen as a "fundamental right." The Supreme Court has reveresed itself more times than I can or care to count in its history, and on issues a lot more important than this.

    The threads that have existed on this topic suggest that a great many people feel the way jsw and I do. *If* there is enough time and support (and I honestly have no idea if there is - I suspect not because people don't care enough), this can and will change. Witness the effects of Kelo: the Justices may have handed down their verdict like a proclamation from Olympus, but it turns out that the people care enough that many many state legislatures (and even Congress) are considering statutes that would prevent such use of eminent domain.

    More to the point, even if this will never change, you seem to be saying, by your analogy to the sun, that there's no point in talking about it. I disagree. I see a great deal of point in expressing dissatisfaction with injustice, even if that injustice isn't necessarily going anywhere fast.
     
  25. Kingsly macrumors 68040

    Kingsly

    #25
    Think about it this way: With so many creative peope working under him, whatever house he builds will be amazing and incredible and really, really, cool. I would love to live in an Ive ininspired house!!
     

Share This Page