More on Twitter co-founder and his teardown vs. neighbors in San Francisco

I recently wrote about Twitter co-founder Evan Williams’ fight with his San Francisco neighbors over his proposed teardown McMansion. Here is more information about the story:

“We don’t want nouveau riches McMansions sprouting up all over our ridges,” one resident wrote to San Francisco’s Planning Department.

And here, at least, is one local example of the side-effect of a tech boom that the city has fought hard to fuel. San Francisco worked hard in particular to convince Twitter to keep its headquarters in town in hopes that it would amp up the tech scene north of Silicon Valley. Williams, who is 40, was Twitter’s CEO before stepping down in 2010 to support more tech startups…

The strife started after Williams and Lundberg Design, the design firm hired by Williams, contacted neighbors about the couple’s plans. A couple of longtime residents quickly began circulating a handwritten flyer around the neighborhood, decrying the “APPALLING” plan to demolish a “widely coveted, unique and historic (to most) house.”

“TEAR DOWN is NEEDLESS, WASTEFUL, POLLUTION, DISRESPECTFUL,” the flyer said in all caps. It asked people to send in one letter per person if possible because “volume counts.”…

Williams isn’t alone in his neighborhood woes. Other high tech moguls have run into opposition from neighbors, including late Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who was trying to demolish a Woodside property and rebuild as well, and Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who sued his Pacific Heights neighbors last year for their overgrown trees. Ellison’s Pacific Heights residence was, coincidentally, designed by Lundberg Design.

Sounds quite contentious. The columnist suggests San Francisco might have to change a little if it wants to keep important firms; what if the Twitter co-founder threatened to move away, taking away tax revenue and jobs? Communities compete against each other by offering tax breaks or other incentives so couldn’t corporations and their leaders make stipulations about housing issues?

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