Home Letter To The Editor A Reader Plays Sidewalk Superintendent And Comments On A Contentious Development In...

A Reader Plays Sidewalk Superintendent And Comments On A Contentious Development In Lafayette


I write from what’s left of Walnut Creek, and just wanted to get that out of the way because I am not from Lafayette and have never lived there, but had to say something about one developer’s approach to building in that city.

As we should all know by now a decision by popular vote means next to nothing in these dark days of ours as money and power continues to shrug off the expressed will of the people and proceeds to do what they like most: make money.

I am not sure how many of the people who voted against the so called Homes at Deer Hill project thought a win would make that development go away, but I would bet that it was a good many. In my younger days I would have thought so too. It does seem clear, a controversial development comes to town, meets with resistance, and is put before the people to decide its fate – all while the developer hints in a not very subtle way that if you don’t allow THIS project to proceed as planned he’ll push for one with even more impact on local neighborhoods.

Which as it turned out is exactly what happened, with O’Brien Land Company of MENLO PARK now informing Lafayette city officials of its intent to proceed with its original plan to build 315 apartments virtually on top of the busiest traffic corridor in the city.

So now it’s no longer 40 or so homes and dog parks and now we’re back to apartment blocks with sky high trip counts and an underlying threat of legal action against a city and people who obviously don’t know what’s good for it.

Well actually they do, or thought they did, but that means nothing despite the outcome of the June 5 election they took time to vote in.

Fair? No, but that doesn’t mean anything any more. What have we learned? That you can express your will but shouldn’t expect to see it come to pass even if you’re in the majority. We’re in a strange new world and it is not populated with people you want as neighbors.

Bernard Bertran
Walnut Creek


  1. The whole voting thing is so yesterday. As the rich get richer and the poor get poorer more issues will be decided by those with the most to gain and the most money to make. If voting doesn’t work, what’s next?

  2. None of us know the future and what will become of the Deer Hill corridor. Its way too early to conclude that the will of the people will not be reflected in the final outcome. Everyone is so doom and gloom nowadays. This type of local politics (zoning debates, etc.) has been going on since the beginning of time. I don’t see it being any worse now than it was 40 years ago.

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