Lafayette

City looks at plan to limit house sizes

Officials considered this week a study of housing sizes in the city and approved greater scrutiny of proposed developments.

Council members voted to accept recommendations from the House Size Study Committee that would require the Design Review or Planning Commissions to consider neighboring house and lot sizes when evaluating future developments. They also recommended placing a "Neighborhood Compatibility" report on the city's Planning & Building Services Division's work plan. That report would look at how future projects fit into the surrounding environment.

View the study at www.ci.lafayette.ca. us

Commission scrutinizes Town Center

Planning leaders are recommending that the city council deny applications and amendments that would pave the way for construction of the third phase of the Town Center project.

Commissioners decided Sept. 17 to advise council members to reject KB Homes' request for a zoning amendment, an amendment to the BART Block Specific Plan and design review and subdivision applications. The developer is hoping to place 74 condominiums in a five-story building on the site of a parking lot adjacent to Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Dewing Avenue.

City staff has recommended that the entire fifth floor of the proposed building be removed, in addition to other modifications.


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A date for the council's consideration of the project has not been set.

In other news, commissioners are recommending the council approve the Plaza Way Overlay plan, which the city hopes will revitalize a historic block between Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Moraga Road. The plan would ask property owners to update facades and possibly construct new buildings that retain the character of the site. It would also allow for a number of new parking spaces.

The council will consider the matter Oct. 9.

Lafayette candidates night Oct. 4

City council and school board hopefuls will be taking questions at a candidates night Oct. 4 at the Lafayette Community Center, 500 St. Marys Road.

Five candidates are competing for two open seats on the city council. They are incumbent Mike Anderson, Rob Lobron, Mark Mitchell, Traci Reilly and Yolanda "Jolie" Vega. Four school candidates are vying for two open positions. They are Jean Follmer, Quinlan Tom, Nancy Wallace and Don Wolf.

The forum is sponsored by the Lafayette Homeowners Council and will be moderated by council President Marie Blits. Refreshments will be served.

Library's half-price book sale Saturday

The Friends Corner Book Shop inside the Lafayette Library and Learning Center will have its September Half Price Book Sale Saturday, Sept. 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the shop, at the corner of First Street and Golden Gate Way.

All 25,000-plus titles in the shop will be half-price for this day only, and they're shelved for easy browsing.

For more information, go to www.friendscornerbookshop.com

Orinda

Road repair and paving underway

Work crews will be paving selected city streets beginning Monday, Oct. 1 as part of the city's pavement management program.

A section of Valley View from Crestview to San Gabriel will be closed and detoured from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. beginning Monday. It will be open in the evening. Crews will also be slurry sealing Rheem from Hall Drive to Zander during night and early morning Monday and Tuesday. Orinda Way from the library entrance to Camino Sobrante will also be slurry sealed early Wednesday.

For information, visit www.ci.orinda.ca.us.

J& J Ranch input being accepted

The city planning commission is accepting public input on an environmental impact report of the proposed J& J Ranch subdivision surrounding the Joaquin Moraga Adobe.

Documents longer than three pages must be submitted to the planning department no later than 4:30 p.m. Oct. 5. Materials shorter than three pages can be submitted to the department by Oct. 5 or to the planning commission Oct. 9.

Ten copies of each are required.

Developers hope to place 13 lots on the 20-plus acre property owned by Danville-based J & J Ranch. Plans call for the restoration of the historic Joaquin Moraga Adobe and its conversion into a private recreation center.

For information, visit www.ci.orinda.ca.us

Third annual Olive Festival Oct. 7

The county's first and only Olive Festival is back for a third year, set in the Wagner Ranch Nature Area, next to the Wagner Ranch Elementary School, 350 Camino Pablo in Orinda.

The free festival is Sunday, Oct. 7 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Local olive company and founding sponsor McCauley Olive Growers will provide tastings of oils from their hand-picked olives, and Berkeley Olive Growers from Oroville will be on hand with their award-winning organic oils

Local chef Wendy Shay will provide a food demonstration and visitors can buy delicious food catered by her company Herbs & Spices Games include the Olive Toss, Olive Dash, and Olive Pit Challenge. Artists of the Nature Area will be painting in the Olive Grove, and the Barretts from Woodland and Orinda will demonstrate the preparation and pressing of olives for oil.

Teens and youth from Scout programs, Others First at Orinda Intermediate School, Miramonte High School and ALMA Music Program are donating their talents to the festival, as are Orinda Rotary community volunteers, seniors from Orinda Village and students from Saint Mary's College.

The goal of the event, organized by the Friends of the Wagner Ranch Nature Area, is to raise funds to preserve the 40-year tradition of teaching Orinda children about the environment and how their ancestors lived in closer contact with nature.

For more details on the day's events visit our website www.fwrna.org

MORAGA

Town Council candidates night Oct. 4

A forum spotlighting five residents vying for three seats on the town council will be held at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 4 at the Holy Trinity Serbian Church.

Organized by the Moraga Citizens Network, the event will be moderated by Tim Farley, Director of Community and Government Relations at St. Mary's College. Questions may be submitted in advance via the group's website at www.moragacitizensnetwork.org or on the night of the forum. The candidates are Phil Arth, Seth Freeman, Roger Wykle and incumbents Karen Mendonca and Mike Metcalf.

Admission is free. The church is located at 1700 School St.

Walnut Creek

Lindsay Wildlife Museum to hold gala

The Lindsay Wildlife Museum will hold it's annual "Fall For Our Wildlife Gala" 6 p.m. Oct. 13. Held at the Round Hill Country Club in Alamo there will be live entertainment, auctions and former Contra Costa Times columnist and museum curator emeritus Gary Bogue will be honored.

The museum cares for 80 native California wild animals and treats more than 5,300 injured or orphaned animals each year in its rehabilitation hospital.

The price for tickets at the gala starts at $200.

To buy tickets or for more information go to http://wildlife-museum.org/gala.

Politico to speak at WC library Oct. 2

Bay Area political commentator Joe Tuman will discuss the local and national political landscape 7 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 2 at the Walnut Creek Library.

Tuman, broadcast political commentator and former Oakland mayoral candidate, will look at the future of redevelopment and its impact on California cities as well as pension reform and how local and state government is addressing this pressing issue, according to a news release.

The presentation is free and part of the Walnut Creek Library Foundation's Live! from the Library speaker series. It will be held in the Oak View Room at the library, 1644 N. Broadway. To reserve a seat or for more information go to www.wclibrary.org

-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards