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Apple chief executive Steve Jobs, who is on a six-month medical leave, was too weak Tuesday night to attend a lengthy town meeting to decide whether he should be allowed to demolish his historic Silicon Valley, Calif., house.
Instead, Jobs' attorney, Howard Ellman, attended the Woodside Town Council, which heard arguments from preservationists seeking to save Jobs' 14-bedroom, 17,000-square-foot house and locals defending the tech icon's property rights.
"I don't think he would be strong enough if we were here until 1 a.m., and I think there's a strong possibility of that," Ellman said of Jobs, according to The San Jose Mercury News.
Jobs, who started his medical leave in January, is recovering from complications related to surgery for pancreatic cancer several years ago. Apple fans are hoping Jobs can deliver his customary keynote speech during the company's sold-out Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco in early June.
However, comments from Apple CFO Peter Oppenheimer last week cast doubt on a Jobs appearance. "We look forward to Steve's return to Apple at the end of June," Oppenheimer told analysts in releasing Apple's financial results for the quarter ended March 31.
In the town of Woodside, Calif., Jobs has been trying for years to tear down the Spanish Colonial revival style house built in 1925 by successful copper miner Daniel C. Jackling. Preservationists sued to prevent Jobs from demolishing the home after the town issued the permits in 2004. Jobs wants to a build smaller home for his family, and is arguing that restoring the house would cost much more than building a new one, according to the Mercury News.
As to the length of the meeting, Ellman was right in his prediction. As of 10:30 p.m., the council was still hearing arguments from the public, the newspaper said.