FORTUNE -- You can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, and it turns out you can't build a new 3.4 million sq. ft. corporate campus in the city of Cupertino without breaking a few California environmental quality laws.
According to a 650-page draft environmental impact review submitted in advance of public hearings Wednesday, Apple's (AAPL) new headquarters -- if built according to Steve Jobs' wishes -- will have "significant unavoidable impact" in several areas. Among them, the project would:
So as required by the city, Apple hired LSA Consultants to offer a kind of Hobson's choice of "reasonable" alternatives:
1. Keep open a street -- Pruneridge Ave. -- that would have been closed in the plan Jobs preferred, redesign the complex, and haul away 750,000 extra cubic yards of rock and dirt;
2. Minimize construction pollution by replacing the "spaceship" design with conventional office buildings and reduce open landscaped space by more than 1/3;
3. Avoid traffic problems by building a low-density office complex that houses fewer employees than Apple's current headquarters;
4. Scrap the whole idea and, as Jobs threatened, find another city to house Apple's growing workforce.
The alternatives are summarized in the chart below. The residents of Cupertino had a chance to respond to the draft report in person Wednesday night in hearings that were webcast but have not appeared on YouTube. The deadline for written responses is July 22.
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