Re-drafted and re-released under a new name and softened new look after it was peppered by criticism both public and architectural, the bloodied “Terraces” project – now known as the Homes at Deer Hill – finally met with approval from the Lafayette city council last Monday.
The unanimous decision – with Vice Mayor Traci Reilly recusing herself after lending her signature to a petition opposing the project prior to her election in 2012 – allows The O’Brien Land Company to build 44 clustered single-family homes on the former site of an old quarry site at the nexus of Highway 24 and Pleasant Hill Road.
The homes, each carrying million dollar price tags and featuring Lafayette-friendly amenities including sports fields and dog runs, are a far cry from the Terraces of Lafayette project proposed by O’Brien and landowner Anna Maria Dettmer more than four years ago.
While many still oppose the development, caddy-corner from Acalanes High School and fronting Deer Hill and Pleasant Hill roads, is a far cry from the initial project design one local planning commissioner blasted as “train wreck architecture.”
The project, possibly the most contentious in city history, sparked threats of legal action and hyperbole from all sides and pressed forward Monday despite additional, Eleventh Hour threats of a lawsuit by affordable housing advocates.
O’Brien changed direction and pushed its single family re-design in 2013 after the company’s representatives, frustrated by the project’s lack of progress, threatened lawsuits of their own in response to delays in processing the city’s environmental review.