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Published October 11th, 2023
Letters to the editor

Bring back our green hills

I love the green hills of Lafayette. We have lived here over 38 years and we never tire of the beauty of this place. The hills and trees are part of our City's logo. We even have a hillside ordinance to protect this wonderful landscape.
That is why I am in favor of taking down the crosses in front of the BART station. They served a purpose for a time. But they now look more like an eyesore. Let's bring back one of the more prominent hills of our city to be part of the natural landscape that is our town.
Bob Russell

For Lafayette's Housing Plan, there is a better way!

On Monday October 23rd, Lafayette City Council will consider plans for multiple tall buildings (over 6 stories) downtown to satisfy the State's "Regional Housing Needs Allocation" RHNA. Our bi-partisan group of Lafayette Citizens believes there are better ways. Please support these alternatives that will meet state requirements while keeping Lafayette's charming, small-town ambiance.
PLAN A - Focus on the Downtown Core
Put added housing where it is most accessible to Lafayette's shopping district, transit hub, and other amenities. This option avoids up-zoning in residential neighborhoods and the downtown district, except for the area along Highway 24 between First Street (Whole Foods) and Risa Road (Lafayette Veterans Center).
Plan A uses actual yields from approved 2020-2023 Lafayette multi-family residential projects (which yield 120% of the zoned maximum housing units) to forecast housing production in the next 8-year cycle, versus the state's arbitrary, older, low-yield projects. The state housing authority (HCD) claims we cannot consider any project that uses legally available density bonuses (950 Hough Street recently approved with 20 units at 0.43 acres is 133% of the allowable density). Plan A also embraces state efforts to up-zone places of worship for those near downtown and Mount Diablo Boulevard.
PLAN B - Expanded Living on the West End
If the State forces Lafayette to use an 88% yield rate, the City can still preserve Mount Diablo Boulevard and the greater Downtown Zones by utilizing the 62-acre DeSilva South property (across from Oakwood) that the owner has expressed interest in developing. Amenities include proximity to Lafayette Reservoir, Oakwood, and easy freeway access, which is important amid wildfire concerns. Bart and shopping would be an easy walk. Zoning 35 units/acre on 15.7 acres of DeSilva South would allow an option for playfields and 40% wooded hillside open space. Also, this would include FBO housing as for Plan A.
Plans A and B are better solutions. Ask the City Council to preserve downtown at cityhall@lovelfayette.org Use this link to find links to an informational Housing Town Hall Saturday 10/14/23 at 4PM: https://bit.ly/LafayetteHousing
Robert Lavoie

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