The new lot is adjacent to the historic property where, according to neighbors, he currently lives.
The modern, two-story home will be sited nearly in the middle, with many of the property's 60-plus trees retained to screen the home from the street and neighbors, the plans indicate. It will feature four bedrooms and a full basement.
The home will also be environmentally friendly, the spokesman said.
Page is working with an arborist to replace some trees that are in poor health with others that use less water.
He is also applying for Green Point Certification, with points given for use of recycled and low or no-VOC (volatile organic compound) materials and a roof garden with solar panels. Other eco-friendly elements include use of grasscrete pavers, pervious paving in the parking court and a pervious path through the trees.
"The house is designed to minimize the impact on the environment," the spokesman said, adding that the application exceeds the minimum points to qualify for the Green Point rating.
The home's exterior features zinc cladding and plenty of windows, including a wall of sliding-glass doors in the rear, the plans indicate.
Under current Palo Alto regulations, Page could build another 5,000 square feet of "accessory structures," a guest house (up to 900 square feet), pool house or art studio, for example, according to Curtis Williams, the city's interim director of planning. The previous home on his lot was about 4,500 square feet. The planned 3,540-square-foot basement is not figured in the building cap.
Old Palo Alto neighbors have expressed curiosity -- and some dismay -- about what's happening on Page's block, since several older homes were demolished in the past year (only some by Page). Page has been reportedly buying up adjacent properties for the past few years, all under various limited-liability company names, according to Santa Clara County public records and neighbors.
Page's spokesman would not confirm Page's current address, nor that the Google co-founder also owns a third neighboring property. But city regulations would not allow him to merge any of the land, since lot mergers are prohibited when the combined properties exceed 19,999 square feet, Williams said.
But that wouldn't preclude Page from adding an accessory structure to the neighboring lot that he owns -- such as a tennis court or swimming pool -- as long as there was also a house on the property.
Neighbors aren't just being nosy. They expressed concerns over what might come to the area.
Ralph Britton, a retired electronic engineer and board member of Palo Alto Stanford Heritage, was walking the neighborhood when he noticed demolitions on four separate properties in Page's block.
"I noticed a house coming down, walked and saw another, and realized they were contiguous," Britton said. He described one house as elegant with a lot of land around it, a swimming pool in back and nice landscaping -- much of which is still there. Another former home around the corner he called "imposing."
Britton's concern is with the changing character of the neighborhood, as smaller, more modest homes are replaced with mega-houses. But, he acknowledges, more of that is occurring between Alma and Emerson streets than on Page's block, noting that the houses torn down were already "larger than most of the houses in the neighborhood even then."
And, of course, neighbors are also concerned with the mess of construction, as well as possible damage to streets from heavy trucks.
"There's constant noise and confusion; when one finishes, the other starts," Britton said.
But fences are already up, including mesh around protected trees, on the Page property, in preparation for construction, which cannot begin until the city approves a permit.
As for Page, "Larry has lived in Palo Alto for many years and has a tremendous appreciation for the local community," his spokesman said.
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