Author: Love Lafayette

Help Us Save Lafayette

Lafayette has been adding housing at a break neck pace for the last few years. Condos, townhouses, senior housing and apartments have been raised faster than any time in decades. The city’s road, school and public transportation capacities are already strained by the building that’s been completed – the additional housing currently under construction will further overwhelm those capacities.

Lafayette’s semi-rural character is suffering from these developments, it’s time to slow it down to allow the traffic patterns, schools and public transit agencies an opportunity to adapt to these new demands.

Don’t Let Big Real Estate and Government Overreach Ruin Your Neighborhood!

State and local governments are moving to suppress and curtail citizen’s rights for local control over their neighborhoods. They are legislating to ignore vital local protections and deny citizens their right to vote. Zoning and environmental codes have been enacted to help manage growth and prevent the ill-effects of unconstrained construction. Don’t let government officials use their misconceived plans to allow big real estate developers to laugh all the way to the bank at the expense of your neighborhood. We can’t just build our way out of the housing crisis, we need sensible plans for balanced growth.

Please join Save Lafayette’s fight protect our neighborhoods from Big Real Estate and overreaching government! Come to the courthouse on Friday June 24, 2016 at 9:00 am to show your support and protect your voting rights and hit the Donate button on the right side to help us pay for this fight!

Superior Court of Contra Costa County
725 Court St.
Room 312, Dept. 34
Martinez, California

Please help spread the word by sharing this video https://youtu.be/Nx_wGFF4Lws!

Help Us Preserve Your Right To Vote!

In late 2015, 2300 Lafayette residents – 39% more than required – signed Save Lafayette’s petition in just 24 days to vote on the Homes at Deer Hill development. This was only the second ballot petition in Lafayette’s history.

Petition signers wanted a chance to vote on whether the development’s purported benefits outweighed the significant impacts of traffic congestion, air quality and violation of the City’s Hillside and Open Space ordinances. The County Registrar and City Clerk both verified there was an adequate number of Lafayette voter signatures to qualify for a ballot.

Despite all of the above, at a City Council meeting just before the holidays in mid December, the City Attorney recommended that the Council reject the Save Lafayette petition “because it would create an inconsistency between the newly amended General Plan and the previous zoning”. Remarkably, the attorney memo did not actually explain what the purported conflict specifically was. Without any input from Save Lafayette, the City Council immediately accepted the recommendation and refused to put the project on a ballot, thereby denying the rights of Lafayette voters.

Save Lafayette’s attorneys and land use advisors do not believe there is a conflict and that the voters’ constitutional rights should be respected, even if it is inconvenient for the deal struck between the City and the Developer. It is our position that the General Plan map residential zoning is consistent with the APO zoning under Ordinance 6-1004 (g and h) that would result if the voter referendum passes. A detailed explanation and copy of the petition will be posted on our website for all to read.

The City Attorney has not responded to Save Lafayette’s request for clarification on this matter, leading us to conclude that the City is trying to run the clock out on the time allowed to file a lawsuit, which would force the City to respect voters’ rights.

Therefore to preserve our constitutional right to vote on this matter, Save Lafayette will bring suit against the City, challenging its ruling on the petition. We have some of the best legal minds and land use experts on board and 100% of the funds collected go towards this effort. We need your support to see this suit through to defend the democratic process!

YOU HELP SAVE LAFAYETTE RAISE THE $25,000 FUND TO COVER LEGAL COSTS TO BRING THIS ACTION

Please click on the “Donate” button on the right side of this page or send a check to

Save Lafayette
3527 Mount Diablo Boulevard, #177
Lafayette CA 94549

DO NOT LET BIG DEVELOPERS RUIN OUR LOVELY CITY!

LET’S ACT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE AND SEND A STRONG MESSAGE TO THE CITY COUNCIL FROM THE RESIDENTS OF LAFAYETTE!

The Deer Hill Challenge Continues, The CEQA Battle Doesn’t

Save Lafayette has decided to withdraw its CEQA lawsuit challenging the Final Environmental Impact Report for The Homes at Deer Hill.  On December 14, 2015, after receiving certification from the County and the Lafayette City Clerk that 1809 Lafayette voter signatures were valid and that the referendum qualified for the ballot, the City Council nevertheless declined – on the advice of city attorney Mala Subramanian – to place the measure on the ballot and schedule the election.

Save Lafayette vigorously disputes the council’s disregard of the voters’ will and is considering a further legal proceeding, as the CEQA issue is now secondary to whether the city will allow the Save Lafayette measure to be voted on by the electorate. We are not giving up or going away. Our full commitment to maximizing open space and minimizing traffic in regard to this project continues unabated – we simply want to pursue the most promising avenues. Stay tuned for further updates on our activities as we continue our efforts to achieve these goals and to ensure that the community has a strong, representative voice in the decision process and the ultimate outcome of The Homes at Deer Hill project.

Your Signature Counted!

Over 10% of Lafayette’s voter signed our petition within the 30 day period required by law to challenge a legislative action. This is a major achievement that sends a loud message to the City that the citizens would want to hit the “pause” button on rapid growth. While this milestone is significant, there are many hurdles to overcome.

The City will now need to either reverse its approval of “The Homes at Deer Hill” project, or put the project to a simple “yes or no” referendum decision of Lafayette voters, most likely in March 2016.

While Save Lafayette is moving forward on the voter ballot, we will continue to negotiate with the representatives of the developer and the property owner in an effort to to protect all interests and to see how we can retain maximum open space with minimum traffic impacts. These efforts take time and money, more so now as we are entering a much more detailed phase than that of the petition.

As a non-profit organization of volunteer Lafayette residents with significant legal and operating expenses, Save Lafayette is asking for your financial support to sustain this campaign on your behalf. Please click on the “Donate” button on the right side of this page. If you would like to consider a major donation to truly preserve open space, please contact Mike Griffiths – your pledge could be the one that makes that difference!

There are lot of development projects already in progress in Lafayette. We want to get a less impactful outcome at the Deer Hill Road site and work with the city to assure that going forward, development will be in balance with the City’s infrastructure capacity.

Petition Signatures Delivered

petition
After a 24 day collection period, Save Lafayette’s petition drive has delivered the signatures of 2300 Lafayette voters to the City clerk and the signature collection period has closed. This represents well over the 10% of Lafayette’s registered voters that we required; the petition to bring the “Homes at Deer Hill” resolution to a referendum leaves little doubt as to what voters want: slower growth, less development, more open space, less traffic and to be have their wishes heeded by the City. The petition, once validated by the County and City, will provide the City the opportunity to either rescind their prior approval of the project or to provide the community with the opportunity to vote on this huge project. 

As residents are all too aware, Lafayette has experienced rapid growth in recent years, by a factor of six over historical rates. The overcrowded schools, the BART parking lots filling earlier and earlier, the congested shopping areas and long traffic delays drastically reduce the city’s semi-rural character and run counter to what folks love about living here.

Save Lafayette’s near-term goal is to give the community a voice in the process and to achieve a better use of the “Homes at Deer Hill” site consistent with the City’s General Plan, Hillside Ordinance and community identity. But our fight won’t end there. Lafayette’s growth needs to be kept aligned with its transportation capacity, school capacity and not to the detriment of its hillsides and vistas. This initial effort was sucessful and we are very grateful to our donors and to all of the petition gatherers and signers for volunteering their time. However our continuing legal costs need your support, please click the “Donate” button on our site so we can continue to give voice to the wishes of Lafayette’s citizens.

The Save Lafayette Petition Is Almost There!

The response from the community in the prior week has been amazing! Save Lafayette volunteers fanned out across town and have collected an extraordinary number of signatures. Through hundreds of conversations, we’ve heard the community’s frustration with Lafayette’s recent rapid growth. While we have enjoyed the new dining and shopping options that have come to Lafayette, citizens are in wide agreement that the overall growth has strained the capacity of our town. What we heard from Lafayette’s citizens just reinforced why we need to make sure we get everyone’s signatures:

  • The schools are brimming over, students are being sent to campuses far from their neighborhoods. Lafayette is a city connected mostly by two lane roads. Round trips across town that are 20-30 minutes in times of low traffic are almost an hour at school start and dismissal times.
  • The topology of Lafayette, its hills and valleys, shape its streets like streams and rivers that are overflowing their banks. Vehicles are backed up on the two lane tributaries and severely delayed on the boulevards. The flow of people and their vehicles through Lafayette are already overwhelming critical intersections such as the one at Deer Hill Road and Pleasant Hill Road.
  • The BART parking lots fill early in the morning, the mall parking lots are full in the afternoons, they fill again on the weekends, parking outside of the malls is limited by the restricted and metered options with few alternatives.

Save Lafayette is committed to growth that is managed, no matter where it is in town, and accounts for the capacity of its infrastructure to support it. But the urgency around the “Homes at Deer Hill” resolution is that the City Council’s vote started the clock on the citizens’ opportunity to act. The groundswell of support has been fantastic and our goal of getting 10% of Lafayette’s voters to sign our petition is within our sites. But we still need your support! If you haven’t yet, please find us where we’ll be hosting petitions to have your signature count!

Tue, Oct 6

6:30am – 8:00am Lafayette BART
10:00am – 12:00pm Lafayette Trader Joes
4:00pm – 6:00pm Lafayette Trader Joes

Wed, Oct 7

9:00am – 11:00am Diablo Foods
10:00am – 12:00pm Lafayette Trader Joes
4:00pm – 6:00pm Lafayette Trader Joes

Thu, Oct 8

6:30am – 8:00am Lafayette BART
10:00am – 12:00pm Lafayette Trader Joes
4:00pm – 6:00pm Lafayette Trader Joes

Fri, Oct 9

10:00am – 12:00pm Lafayette Trader Joes
4:00pm – 6:00pm Lafayette Trader Joes

and more events coming soon!

Lafayette Citizens Demand To Be Heard on “The Homes at Deer Hill”

Over the prior week, Save Lafayette volunteers have been at numerous events throughout the community. The message we heard was very clear. Lafayette was not laid out to accommodate the level of growth it has experienced in recent years. The schools, intersections and shopping areas have not absorbed the growth and a lot of urban concerns are overtaking the quality of life in Lafayette.

The Homes at Deer Hill project was established by a process out of the view Lafayette’s citizenry and has been pressed forward despite their concerns. The intersection at Deer Hill Road and Pleasant Hill Road is among one of the busiest ones in Lafayette, the commute and Acalanes High School ingress/egress period traffic congestion severely impacts all of the families with students at Acalanes and all of the neighborhoods of North/East Lafayette. Springhill School is turning away new enrollees because it is full. The Lafayette BART parking lot is full by 7:40am most mornings; the site is not a distance most people will walk to BART, so those residents would be driving. Lafayette citizens have affirmed that The Homes at Deer Hill project will worsen the traffic, school, parking and other concerns that the recent growth has brought to Lafayette.

Save Lafayette’s petition signature effort will bring the resolution that the City Council adopted to a referendum. The effort has terrific momentum driven by they concerns previously enumerated. However, the community of Lafayette voters must come out in force to sign the petitions; the time to be heard is now. Over the coming week, we have numerous events scheduled for the citizens of Lafayette to be heard. We hope you’ll join us!

Art, Wine and Saving Lafayette

This past weekend, Save Lafayette hosted a booth at the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival that provided the citizens of Lafayette an opportunity to engage with us and express their dissatisfaction with the urbanization drive that has come from outside the community.  The overwhelming sentiment was that the overcrowded schools, the congested shopping areas and intersections and the drastic reduction in the semi-rural character of the city which Lafayette has experienced recently runs against what folks love about living here.  Save Lafayette is focused on slowing down the growth in general and specifically in troublesome locations such as at the proposed site of the Homes at Deer Hill.  From the feedback we heard at the Lafayette Art and Wine Festival, it’s clear that much of Lafayette shares these concerns.

The Homes at Deer Hill project is a combination of homes and sports complex that has far too many negative impacts upon the surrounding community and City as a whole.  These negative impacts need to be adequately mitigated and corrected by the City, not ignored by citing other so-called benefits.  These negative impacts include but are not limited to severe traffic congestion, destruction of the hillsides, harmful air quality on residents and the violation of the City’s General Plan and Hillside Ordinance.

At numerous City meetings over the past six months, residents have continually offered constructive and well-reasoned solutions and alternatives to many of these negative impacts, but have been ignored by City government at every step of the way. When government fails to protect its citizens, then those citizens must act to protect their community.  Save Lafayette is doing so by the only means left available to us, namely corrective action.

  1. provide the community with an opportunity to form their own conclusions by giving them the chance to vote on this huge project and sports complex
  2. challenge by legal means the adequacy of the Supplemental Environmental Impact Report in order to properly mitigate the negative impacts
  3. challenge the biased and one-sided process

The City has not listened to the vast majority of the public and those most impacted.

The process by which the Homes at Deer Hill proposal was established was fundamentally flawed. Under the duress of questionable threats, the city staff agreed to a project substantially larger than the LR-5 zoning that the City Council originally voted to adopt for the property.  Save Lafayette seeks to correct that.

Lafayette has experienced rapid growth in recent years, by a factor of six over historical rates. The infrastructure, services and schools are already straining to absorb that growth. It’s time for Lafayette’s future to account for more of the wishes of its citizens. The developers and housing advocates from elsewhere in the state have had their say, it’s time for Lafayette’s citizens to have theirs. We have scheduled signature gathering events in the morning on Wednesday, September 23 during the morning commute hours (various times between 7am and 9am):

  • Stanley Blvd. & Camino Diablo Blvd.
  • Springhill School
  • Pleasant Hill Road at the Briones Trail parking lot

For future events, please check http://savelafayette.org/events/ for updates

Save Lafayette’s goal is to give the community a voice in the process and to achieve a better use of the site consistent with the City’s General Plan, Hillside Ordinance and community identity.  We want better solutions to the traffic congestion, less hillside grading and destruction, safer air quality solutions, better full-size playing fields for more sports across age groups and easier walkway alternatives.  We want to do things right for the Lafayette community. We Love Lafayette.