Where is the Homes at Deer Hill site?
It is at 3233 Deer Hill Road, on the 22 acre property at the southwest corner of Deer Hill Road and Pleasant Hill Road diagonally across from Acalanes High School. It is often referenced by its Assessor’s Parcel Number, 232-150-027.
What is the history of the site?
- 1946 The property was part of a much larger property purchased by Tony Lagiss. The Lagiss Family lived on the property as their primary residence for many years.
- 1960’s A portion of the Lagiss property was sold to the State of California to provide construction of Highway 24.
- 1967-1970 The Lagiss family operated a quarry on a portion of the remaining parcel that provided materials for the construction of Highway 24 and BART.
- 1992 City of Lafayette institutes legal proceedings against the Lagiss’s (property owner) for running a quarry operation without a grading or quarry permit.
- 2002 The General Plan Advisory Committee recommended that the property be zoned low-density residential/open space. The City Council changed that recommendation to require a specific study on the property prior to determining the final zoning.
- 2003-04 The City Council determined that they could not afford a specific study on the property and authorized an “opportunities and constraints” analysis. This analysis indicated that a maximum of 14 units could be built on the property.
- 2007 Mr Lagiss passed away, leaving the property in trust for this daughter Anna Maria Dettmer, who lives with her family in Oregon.
- 2008 The City Council, Planning Commission and other city officials held hearings and discussed proposals to rezone the property
- 2009 The City Council (CC) directed staff to prepare a rezoning of the property for single-family residential.
- 2010 The City Council voted to rezone the property to LR-5 low density, as it had been inappropriately zoned Administration/Professional (APO) in the Lafayette Municipal Code (LMC). The LR-5 rezoning would permit one home per five acres, resulting in a maximum of four homes on the 22 acre parcel. Public support for this low density zoning was overwhelming. So many people showed up at the first City Council hearing that the matter had to be continued for further comment at the second hearing. However, the City failed to finalize the low-density residential zoning for this property, during the intervening 14 month period, before the property owner completed their application for the proposed project “The Terraces of Lafayette.”
What is the status of the applications to build on the site?
The application to build a 315 unit apartment complex known as the Terraces of Lafayette was studied for an Environmental Impact Report. The EIR identified 52 significant environmental impact, 13 were found to be significant and unavoidable impacts. It is on hold while the 44 unit Homes at Deer Hill is pursued. The Lafayette City Council passed a resolution to move forward with the Homes at Deer Hill. Final approvals will be considered in September of 2015. At that time, Save Lafayette will work with the citizenry to give them a stronger voice in the process.
Does bringing the 44 single family residence “Homes at Deer Hill” trigger revival of the larger “Terraces of Lafayette” apartment project?
If the Terraces of Lafayette apartment project resumes, Save Lafayette will vigorously oppose that project, as well. Given, the certified Environmental Impact Report for that project cited 13 significant adverse impacts that could not be mitigated, including health impacts, and it was in violation of the City’s General Plan and Hillside Ordinance, we feel the City has every right to deny that project and to withstand whatever legal challenges ensue. And, we will support the City to defend its General Plan, zoning and ordinances. If necessary, we are prepared to work again to give citizens an opportunity to vote on the matter and make their voices heard.
Don’t people have a divine right to build on their own property?
Within some constraints, yes. City planning and zoning are intended to assure that a construction project’s impacts and resource requirements are congruent within a community and consistent with the City’s General Plan, zoning, Hillside Ordinance, and other ordinances and policies.
How else I can I help?
Save Lafayette requires funds to cover the cost of legal requirements and materials production for our opposition to the development of the Deer Hill site. 100% of the donations go to these costs, Save Lafayette has no paid staff – it’s an entirely volunteer-driven effort. Contributions to date have varied from $50 to $500 – you can contribute by sending a check to
3220 Ronino Way
Lafayette, CA 94549