Woodside review board unanimously approves plans for former Jackling estate

Laurene Powell Jobs is overseeing the development

In a unanimous vote Monday, Jan. 11, the Woodside Architectural and Site Review Board recommended that the Planning Commission approve plans for a new residential complex on the Mountain Home Road property that was once home to the Jackling House.

Laurene Powell Jobs, the widow of Steve Jobs, who lived at the Jackling house for 10 years, will oversee the development.

The board listened for about 20 minutes as Associate Planner Sean Mullin went into the major elements of the single-story complex, including structures that are subordinate to the land, earth-toned colors in stone and wood, and some walls made of rammed earth, an ancient construction technique.

Agricultural areas would be protected from entry by deer through the use of double fences spaced so that deer can't clear both fences in one leap, and don't like the idea of landing between them, according to the staff report. The remaining 6 acres of the 9.1 acre property would be using 4-foot-high open rail fences easily negotiated by passing wildlife, Mr. Mullin said.

A brief look back

The site was for eight decades the home of the Jackling House, built in the mid-1920s and demolished in February 2011 at the direction of its owner, the late Steve Jobs, concluding a 10-year battle, fought mainly in court, between the owner and groups wanting to preserve the house as a piece of architectural history.

Construction on a new house and accessory structures is expected to begin soon.

The property will combine six acres at the Mountain Home Road site with three adjacent acres at a Robles Drive site, the report says. Two amendments to the zoning code are needed to bring the land-use designations of the Robles Drive property up to the more environmentally sensitive designations at the Mountain Home site. Both amendments, and related environmental determinations, require approval by the Town Council.

About the project

The main house would be 3,706 square feet and L-shaped; it would have two wings connected by a covered breezeway, a staff report says. One wing would have a vegetated "green" roof. A 2,941-square-foot basement, used for mechanical equipment, utilities and storage, would connect to another basement under a yoga studio.

The seven other accessory structures are a sauna, two guest houses, a wine press, an olive press, a garden shed and a garden barn, the report says. The barn would include a greenhouse and a harvest/kitchen area along with a basement that extends under the wine and olive presses. The property includes an olive grove and a vineyard, the report says.

The project plans include a hot tub, a plunge pool and a swimming pool with three cabanas.

The plan uses 15,689 square feet of the allowed 17,307 square feet of floor area, leaving about 1,700 for future development. The report notes that every structure in the project plan uses less than the maximum allowed floor area, and the roofs of all but one are below allowable heights.

The plans call for removal of six heritage trees, including two birches, a cypress and a Japanese oak, Mr. Mullin said.

In commenting on the project before voting to approve it, board members were complimentary.

"What can you say," said Bruce Carlsmith. "It's a world-class project that no one will see except the neighbors."

"A lot of thought has gone into it," said Scott Larson. "Nice work."

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