Apple CEO Steve Jobs has suffered another setback in his five-year attempt to raze his 17,000-square-foot mansion so he can build something smaller.
Jobs, whose glowing image has been plastered on news outlets nonstop since Tuesday's keynote at Macworld in San Francisco, was told yesterday by a California state appeals court that he had failed to adequately show why it isn't practical to restore the house.
Jobs bought the Jackling House, located in the posh Silicon-Valley enclave of Woodside, in 1984. He lived in it for 10 years and then rented it out. In 2001 he received a demolition permit.
A preservationist group challenged Jobs's plan in court, arguing the Spanish Colonial-style mansion, built in 1926 and designed by renowned George Washington Smith, was a historic structure.
A lower-court judge sided with the opponents. That ruling was upheld on appeal, according to the Associated Press.
It's not the first time the local authorities have intervened in a high-tech mogul's attempt to build in Woodside. Oracle's Larry Ellison, who spent $100m and 10 years building a Japanese style villa, was forced to add reinforcements to man-made ponds to ensure they didn't flood local residents.
Wednesday's appeals decision against Jobs doesn't require him to restore the mansion, which is said to be in disrepair. Jobs reportedly said the mansion was "one of the biggest abominations of a house I've ever seen", so he is unlikely to be in a hurry to call in the remodelers.
Woodside's planning commission has estimated it would cost $10m to rehabilitate and refurbish the structure with living quarters, a work space and fitness facilities.
Howard Ellman, an attorney for Jobs, told the San Jose Mercury News that he and his client haven't decided how to respond. ®