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Berkeley: Mr. Kapor, 4th Horseman, Builds His Dream House

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Demolition begins at 2707 Rose Street [Photo Credit: Jason Strauss via Berkeleyside]

In classic Berkeley fashion, there's been a brush fire raging over Freada Klein and Mitch Kapor's plans to build a new house on Rose Street, and this week demolition began on the dilapidated 1920's house that stood in the way. While the immediate neighbors supported the new construction, it seems like everyone else in Berkeley had (and still has) an opinion over the size of the Lotus software mogul's house and its accompanying subterranean ten-car garage. The Berkeley City Council denied an appeal of the Zoning Board's approval late last week. The Klein-Kapor's lot is large enough to absorb the project in 40% of the lot area and it fits within the buildable envelope. Additionally, the ten-car garage is mostly for visitors, since parking on Rose Street has always been problematic, plus they're putting in a turn-around at the end of the street where there was none previously. Comments in Berkeleyside's fourteen previous posts have that cluck-cluck you're-destroying-the-planet attitude from people who seem overly attached to someone else's shrubberies, although the project fits within Berkeley's green construction parameters. Probably it just means that critical thinking in Berkeley tends towards the Apocalyptic. So how green is an underground garage? Not much, but it's greener than street parking, if only because storm-water runoff can be managed. And a whole lot more attractive.
· Mitch Kapor Takes First Steps to Building Berkeley Home [Berkeleyside]
· Can One Call Mitch Kapor's Berkeley House Green? [Treehugger]
· Berkeley Gets Indignant Over a Ginormous House's 'Green' Label [Curbed SF Archives]