The environmental impacts of a moderate-income housing development critics say could bring big-city crime and traffic to their semirural enclave will be the focus of a meeting Monday in Lafayette.
Planning commissioners will meet at 7 p.m. inside the Community Hall at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center to discuss the 315-unit Terraces of Lafayette, which would be built on what is known as the "Christmas Tree Lot" on Deer Hill Road. Commissioners will hear public comments and take questions about a draft report describing how construction could affect the air quality, geology and biology of the area -- and what can be done to lessen any impacts.
The Circulation Commission will hear comments and questions about Terraces-related traffic at 5 p.m. that day, also at the library.
Released in May, the lengthy draft report details various ways the Terraces could alter the landscape, including how 14 residential two- and three-story buildings could change views of hillsides and ridgelines. It explains what steps developers must take to lessen construction noise and what can be done to reduce traffic hazards near the apartments, among other issues.
The city has been discussing the Deer Hill Road area, including the property owned by Anna Maria Dettmer, since 2001.
Last year, the Dettmers submitted plans to develop their 22-acre lot, which is zoned for offices with multifamily housing allowed with a permit.
However before any construction can begin, developers would need various permits from the city, such as those that would allow them to build on a hillside, remove trees and have dwellings visible along protected ridgelines.
As part of the draft report, the city is offering three alternatives, including not approving the apartment complexes, reducing their size or putting four three-story office buildings on the site.
Once all comments and questions on the Terraces' environmental merits are received, they will be responded to in the final report. Staffers expect that to be ready in September and will conduct a public hearing on its adoption. The project will then go through various reviews before the city decides whether to approve it.
Written comments on the draft EIR will be accepted until 5 p.m. June 28 and can be submitted by mail to Ann Meredith, City of Lafayette, 3675 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 210; emailed to email@example.com; or faxed to 925-284-3169.