Stealth Takings: Forcing the Current Landholder to Pay for Public Benefits

Apparently, the public wants to preserve the house where the Apple Computer was born.   OK.  So is some private non-profit gathering money to buy it and preserve it?  Has the local town appropriated money to buy it and take it over?

None of the above.  The town is simply designating the house as a landmark, imposing all sorts of new costs on the current owner.  This is a taking, and should be treated as such

It doesn't seem like Patricia Jobs, sister of famed Apple co-founder Steve, is exactly onboard with her family home being designated a "historic resource" by the Los Altos Historical Commission. Not that it matters, anyway. According to the San Jose Mercury News, the decision to preserve the one-story home at 2066 Crist Drive where Jobs got a start building the first Apple computers was made independent of her consent. The distinction, which Patricia can still appeal, also means any renovations/repairs to the home would first have to be reviewed by the commission -- so you can understand why the honor's both a blessing and a curse.


  1. perlhaqr:

    so you can understand why the honor's both a blessing and a curse.

    No, actually. "Curse", I get, but in what way is this any sort of "blessing"?

  2. Chris:

    If it were mine I'd burn it. But what do I know I'm just a Ellis Wyatt loving Ayn Rand fan.

  3. Bram:

    My town has a historical society with some sort of supposed town authority. The church I attend operates within their obnoxious restrictions (i.e. trying to repaint 200-year-old wood with lead-free paint). The neighbors simply ignore them,

    When the society shows up to complain about their siding or new roof, the locals ask if they are going to pay for the work. When the answer is "no," they literally turn their backs and tune out the noise.

  4. bigmaq1980:

    Another example of such takings, with far greater "green belts" (and their variations).

    The owners of the land around cities that are designated "green belt" are immediately hit with a reduction in the value of their land as it is no longer develop-able, or is, but at far greater hurdles.

    Often, the ones most hurt by this are farmers who are nearing retirement who would have otherwise been able to reap their reward after years of hard work and living poorly (while "land rich").

    The people who think this is a great idea never think of compensating these victims of their "legal" crime.

  5. Methinks1776:

    Yeah. I too struggle with the blessing part.

  6. David:

    A better way to record the structure would be to use the HABS/HAER mitigation process through the NPS / LoC. There, what would happen is documentation (architectural as-built, protographs, written histories) of the house would be created by the NPS and preserved in the Library of Congress. That way, if something is done to the house, the record of what it was is not lost.

  7. mesocyclone:

    Nothing new here. This is minor compared to the costs private landowners sometimes have to bear for "the general good" on environmental issues.

    The Supreme Court punted on all this when it defined a "taking" (Takings Clause) to mean pretty much a 100% grab.