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Published September 15th, 2021
Letters to the editor

In response to recent housing coverage

Two recent housing-related articles in Lamorinda Weekly present a one-sided narrative about housing policy, featuring misleading quotes presented without context or fact-checking.
One article, "Proponents for Local Land Use Submit Initiative to State Attorney General," includes inaccurate information about proposed housing laws. One quote from Mayor Candell about SB 10 is objectively false: "Instead of a single lot to six units in SB 9, SB 10 allows conversion of any lot into 14 units, by right, with no local review."
To the contrary, SB 10 has no impact on communities unless their councils vote to create an ordinance to upzone parcels under the law. SB 10 empowers local authorities to upzone land at their own discretion, but does not automatically upzone any land or require any action be taken. Mayor Candell's quote implies that the bill is basically just a stronger version of SB 9, a law that would automatically end single-family zoning with no local oversight, when SB 10 actually preserves local control.
The rest of the article revolves around standard anti-development talking points. As our mayor, Candell absolutely deserves a media platform, but presenting her unsubstantiated opinions without offering any other perspective or qualification creates a biased narrative around housing policy.
Another article, "Downtown Housing Development Heats Up In Lafayette," presents a similarly one-sided argument from local anti-housing group Save Lafayette, extensively citing their president, Michael Griffiths, throughout the piece.
Save Lafayette's perspective represents an important part of our community, and Griffiths raises reasonable concerns about housing replacing business. However, Griffiths uses reasonable concerns to justify a fundamentalist anti-growth stance. The only new development Griffiths explicitly supports in his interview is at 100 Lafayette Circle, which is replacing a building that burned down.
In contrast, many members of our community support real growth, whereby we both allow more housing and expand commercial space. By giving Save Lafayette a unique platform to promote their agenda, this article told an incomplete story about housing in our community.

The Board of Inclusive Lafayette

Editor's Note: In the story "Proponents for local land use submit initiative to state attorney general" Lafayette Mayor Susan Candell's comments about SB 10 were in response to a question about how she felt state legislation would affect Lafayette and were a direct quote. A clarification regarding this story and SB 10 was published in the Sept. 1 issue of Lamorinda Weekly.

School safety

This is an accident that could and should have been prevented.
The City, School and Police department are not making sure that there is safe passage for the kids going to and from all of the schools in Lafayette.
There are a number of traffic safety precautions that must be made today.
Flashing caution lights while school is in session; proper markings on the pavement; speed cameras for tickets; limit speed to 15 mph while school is in session: install an island in front of Lafayette School.
I was on the traffic commission when we had the city install the light at Moraga Rd/Moraga Blvd. We were looking for safe passage after a citizen was killed while crossing the street.
I have walked my grandsons across the street and it is NOT safe. When I was chair of the Traffic Commission we were installing Stop signs throughout Burton Valley and in the downtown we had residents of Moraga upset. They wanted quick passage throughout the city to get on the freeway. Just ask Lynn when we made First Street one way.
I don't care how upset the commuters get, we MUST consider safe passage to and from all of the Lafayette schools for the students, staff and parents.
Either the City Council acts on these safety measures immediately or it will be time for the parents to start a recall drive to solve these safety measures.

Jim Peacock
Former Chair Lafayette Traffic Commission

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