Apple executive Manfield’s dream home touches off battle in California

“The entrance to Back Ranch Road is almost a secret, where drivers duck into a cleft along a Highway 1 bluff and climb to a meadow overlooking the Pacific Ocean,” Jason Hoppin reports for The Santa Cruz Sentinel.

“You would think the highway vistas – ordered rows of artichokes and Brussels sprouts spilling over wheat-colored cliffs – cannot be topped, but the view from the meadow falsifies the idea. It is so beautiful up there it can knot your stomach,” Hoppin reports. “It is also a backdrop to what could be the next chapter in the 40-year history of North Coast development wars. On an abandoned quarry just beyond Back Ranch Road, a top Apple Inc. executive plans a dream home that some say is too expansive and too far out of place for Santa Cruz County’s North Coast. In 2010, Apple vice president Bob Mansfield and wife Andrea sought county approval to build on 45 acres covering a prominent knoll. The home would sit atop an old quarry that one neighborhood historian believes provided the asphalt to pave not only downtown’s Pacific Avenue, but San Francisco’s Market Street as well.”

Hoppin reports, “And while Bonny Doon homes are spaced far apart from one another (a feature enforced by zoning rules), that hasn’t stopped some from objecting to the scale. That has set the stage for the county to decide a series of questions: How big is too big? How do you define the character or a rural neighborhood? And how much say should one’s neighbors have over one’s home?”

“‘It just feels like, whether they’re from out of town or not or the 1 percent or not, there’s no respect for what our county has developed over the years,’ said Jonathan Wittwer, a prominent conservation attorney representing a group of concerned neighbors. Wittwer, a resident of Smith Grade, also would be a neighbor,” Hoppin reports. “And just as Wittwer is no normal neighbor, neither is Frediani. She is a fierce defender of woods, and has acted as a forestry consultant to the local Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club, which has a reputation for taking aggressive environmental stances on everything from bicycle paths to the expansion of Highway 1, often through litigation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “It just feels like, whether they’re from out of town or not or the 1 percent or not…” And there you have it, the whole issue in a nutshell.

Opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got ’em, but the ones in California are often inflamed beyond recognition. Bonny Doon’s certainly got at least one massive ‘roid-encrusted rosebud. That balloonknot must sleep on a doughnut pillow.

Bob, just give up now. After spending millions and well over a decade, Steve died waiting to get his house built.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]

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Plans reveal Steve Jobs’ $8.45 million home to replace Jackling House – September 28, 2010
Opponents drop appeal of Steve Jobs’ permit to demolish his ‘dump’ of a house – August 19, 2010
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Apple CEO Steve Jobs inks deal to move his ‘dump’ of a house – July 13, 2009
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  1. House squatters, worse than plantation owners and Nazi concentration death camp commanders, pretend they are doing something nobile when they are the lowest form of vile wretched human scum.

    1. I live in Santa Cruz. I’ve been in Bonny Doon many times.

      What you say is total bullshit. Mansfield’s house isn’t going to ruin the coast line. I’ve seen the property.

      And, let’s face facts, most of California is just a bankrupt pile of plastic and strip malls anyway.

      1. ‘And, let’s face facts, most of California is just a bankrupt pile of plastic and strip malls anyway.’

        True! Bankrupt it is. Because of the likes of the local Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club chasing tax-paying people and businesses to Texas.

  2. Hopefully, CA will go bankrupt soon and all the A-holes who caused it will be barred from the other 49 states.
    There–was that polite enough for the CA readers on this thread?

    1. The a-holes who caused it were – or are – the anti-tax crusaders and the voter proposition jihadists.

      They’ve already spread beyond CA, too. They are slowly but surely turning WA into CA by the same means. I’m guessing there are many more states suffering the same fate as CA and WA.

  3. 1 house on a 45-acre parcel is out of scale? Out of scale to what? Plus, its location on top of an old quarry is somehow destroying the pristine environment? WTF!

    When did this country stop understanding the concept of private property?

  4. I hope this reporter takes a pill of some kind so his stomach doesn’t ‘knot up.’ Does he limit his vacations to ugly sites to help his problem?

  5. Wittwer & Frediani are neighbors, meaning they already live there and now that they’ve got theirs they want to prevent others from getting the same privilege. We’ll be seeing a lot more of this impacting regular folks as the Fed/State/County planners are changing zoning laws to force “the masses” to live in smaller homes/apartments in a quest to save the world from climate change. These masterminds sure like pulling up the ladder behind them.

    “The home would sit atop an old quarry that one neighborhood historian believes provided the asphalt to pave not only downtown’s Pacific Avenue, but San Francisco’s Market Street as well.”
    Really?! who gives a f_ck? This is the first time I’ve ever heard of the Sierra club coming to the defense of a quarry. Ah that’s right, it’s defunct.

    It’s pretty sickening. As a Ca native I can tell you it’s as bad as outsiders think and getting worse.

  6. As long as it’s not East Coast Tacky or lit up with Neon like Vegas the guy should be able to build his home on his land.

    I understand the desire of preservationists to keep some of our heritage intact, but there has to be a reasonable limit and it seems California has a healthy dose of that kind of shit.

    As long as he is not endangering the public or destroying a sensitive watershed or something like it, leave the man alone- it’s his property. This is as bad as the homeowner’s associations that won’t let people put an effing satellite dish on their house or require all new construction to have a two car garage.

    I don’t want to see Monticello torn down to build another IHOP, but this is over the top. For revenge I hope he puts thousands of LED illuminated tacky Pink Flamingos and Gnomes all the way up his driveway. That ought to piss the do gooders off no end.

  7. What a crock of shit. Believe me, I have no problem with neighbors complaining about the parvenu building craptastic 1/4 acre McMansions on 1/4 acre lots, but the guy’s building an apparently well-designed house on 45 fucking acres. And the arguments by the current residents just reek with hypocrisy. Especially that goddamned lawyer.

  8. He’s got 45 freakin’ acres. Unless this is a high-desert area with only scrub brush, if there is any amount of plant life in this area, these people can’t even see one another’s homes. WTF is wrong with these people?

  9. He’s welcome in Burbank. Who’d want to live around all those North Coast assholes anyway? Typical liberal do gooders. They always go to extremes. Because they know what’s good for the rest of us.

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