LAFAYETTE -- A lawsuit filed by the developers of the largest residential complex ever proposed in Lafayette is being withdrawn after City Council certification of the project's environmental impact report.
Attorneys representing the O'Brien Land Company and property owner Anna Maria Dettmer said Tuesday they are withdrawing the suit against the city which criticized the delay in the environmental certification of the Terraces of Lafayette project. Mayor Mike Anderson, Vice Mayor Don Tatzin and Councilmen Brandt Andersson and Mark Mitchell voted Monday to certify the highly debated report after months of deliberation. Councilwoman Traci Reilly recused herself and did not vote.
Attorney Allan Moore said the July lawsuit was filed so the court would compel the city to certify the state-mandated environmental review of the 315-unit apartment complex planned for a hillside near Acalanes High School.
Lawyers had argued that the city is required by the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, to complete and certify a final environmental impact report within one year from the time the city deems the project application complete. The city made that determination in July 2011.
On March 4, the Planning Commission certified the report outlining the project's traffic, aesthetic, biological and other impacts. Attorneys filed an appeal two weeks later, contesting conclusions about those impacts and arguing the city should simultaneously consider the project's merits.
"Given they certified the EIR, we're filing a dismissal," Moore said Tuesday. "The suit was a narrow one to compel the city to move forward with the process."
As they have during previous appeal hearings, residents turned out in force Monday night to speak out against the project and its impacts. They also continued to urge the council to certify the EIR as written and not allow the applicants to deviate from the submitted project.
Public hearings on the project's merits will begin next month starting with the circulation commission and design review commission, said Lafayette senior planner Greg Wolff.
The Planning Commission is expected to review the project later this year.