Everything on today's menu is low-fat and high-fiber. Consume as much as you wish:

  • Lafayette residents upset at how quickly new construction is changing their town can find solace in the snail's pace of the development formerly known as the Terraces of Lafayette. Nearly 3½ years after it was proposed, the project is still in the approval process -- proof that public outcry can make a difference.

    The original proposal, calling for 315 apartments on a 22-acre parcel on the southwest corner of Deer Hill and Pleasant Hill Roads met so much resistance that it evolved into the Homes at Deer Hill -- 44 single-family homes replacing 19 apartment buildings.

    Monday marked the latest session before the planning commission, for review of a supplemental environmental impact report. Still ahead are more public hearings, appearances before a parade of commissions (Circulation, Design Review and Parks, Trails and Recreation), and presumably a late 2014 date with the City Council. Many hurdles remain before shovels go into the ground.

  • We've become accustomed to the Richmond City Council taking on monumental challenges, from ending obesity to fixing the mortgage crisis, but now comes its tallest order: Defining the limits of the First Amendment.


    Advertisement

    At the urging of Vice Mayor Jovanka Beckles, who knows a thing or two about speaking her mind, the council is exploring legal means of silencing speakers who launch inappropriate verbal attacks -- so-called "hate speech" -- by threatening them with bans from future meetings.

    It's hard to say whether this will be a viable option. No one's ever tried introducing decorum into a Richmond council meeting.

  • Because Plan Bay Area opponents are a determined bunch, fueled by fears of "stack-and-pack housing" and social engineering, they no doubt will regroup and come up with a new battle plan. For now, though, they are licking their wounds.

    A lawsuit filed by Bay Area Citizens, attacking as too severe the regional growth plan passed by the Association of Bay Area Governments and the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, was rejected by Alameda Superior Court Judge Evelio Grillo.

    Plan Bay Area urges housing growth near transit centers, which Grillo didn't seem to think was such a crazy idea.

  • Congratulations to No. 5 Moraga and No. 10 Danville, which recently were named among the 10 safest communities in California by movoto.com. Clayton (12), San Ramon (16), Lafayette (35) and Dublin (48) also cracked the Top 50.

    Never heard of Movoto? It's a San Mateo-based "full-service real estate brokerage that provides customers with search tools and information on top agents." In this case, the search tool was the FBI's 2012 Uniform Crime Report.

  • So both San Francisco and Berkeley now have joined the soda wars with November ballot measures that, if passed, would impose special taxes (2 cents per ounce in San Francisco; 1 cent per ounce in Berkeley) on sales of sugary drinks, all in the interest of curtailing obesity and heart disease.

    These efforts will undoubtedly generate well-financed opposition from the beverage industry, but advocates in both cities think voters will be smart enough to see through the advertising blitz.

    They're apparently not smart enough to quit drinking sugary beverages, just smart enough to make themselves pay more for the privilege.

    Contact Tom Barnidge at tbarnidge@bayareanewsgroup.com.