Lawsuits, or the threat of lawsuits, have been flying like confetti in Lafayette of late as the bitter war of words over the Homes at Deer Hill project escalated to DefCon 3 and locals squared off against their city and developers; developers squared off with the city and a housing rights group squared off against the city and NIMBYism in general.
Already the most contentious project in Lafayette city history, The Homes – the latest iteration of a project once billed as The Terraces – has shown no sign of easing.
Residents suing the city to block the project said they will be on hand at this weekend’s Art and Wine Festival to staff an informational table and muster support.
The group, Save Lafayette, announced plans to gather signatures from 10 percent of registered voters over the next 30 days. If they get the required signatures and the referendum passes the project will be halted while its scope and approaches are scrutinized.
O’Brien Homes, the project developers, have already threatened lawsuits of their own as the project – described by a planning commissioner in its early incarnation as “train wreck architecture” – has been drastically scaled back to include single-family homes and concessions (a dog park and sports field is promised) included.
Opponents have argued the 44 new homes built on the site of a former quarry across from Acalanes High School and bounded by Deer Hill and Pleasant Hill roads and Highway 24 brings more people and more traffic to an area unable to support it.
The issue has been further complicated by recent threats by The San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation which has expressed its desire to see the initial Terraces project restored in order to satisfy Lafayette’s housing obligations.