As a resident of Lafayette, I read the March 31 article in the Times highlighting Roger Poynts' proposed "Painted Rock Winery & Performing Arts Center" development plan with concern. The article highlights the perceived "benefits" (to Moraga) of this project, but completely ignores the "costs," especially to the residents of Lafayette. Specifically, nearly all traffic to and from Moraga traverses a few country roads through Lafayette and Orinda. The vast majority of this traffic impacts Lafayette.
Susan Captain lamented in the article that Moraga is a "cul-de-sac." What she fails to mention is that Moraga is a cul-de-sac by choice -- Moraga's town leaders have selfishly rejected all efforts to directly connect their town to Highway 24, which would have greatly mitigated the traffic burdens borne by Lafayette and Orinda. Decades ago, Moraga rebuffed the Gateway-Highway 24 interchange project in order to limit the amount of transient traffic in and out of its town; now, contending with a dying retail sales tax base, Moraga's town leaders are enthusiastically embracing development to raise revenues. The result of this development will be increased traffic on Lafayette and Orinda roadways.
Lafayette cannot expand its roadway carrying capacity, so why should Moraga be allowed to introduce more traffic onto these roadways, especially when they bear none of the resulting costs? I invite anyone to observe the morning, afternoon and evening traffic at the following intersections during the school year:
I am sure that you will quickly conclude that the City of Lafayette does not need any more traffic.
Lafayette residents, please note that Moraga has a number of large development plans pending approval (e.g., Bollinger Valley, and its 125 new homes). Despite the impact of development in Moraga on Lafayette, I have been advised by Lafayette's city leaders that Lafayette residents have no "say" in the Moraga's development decision-making process. Even so, I encourage Lafayette residents to attend Moraga's Town Council and Planning Commission meetings in the coming weeks and months to express your views.
The bottom line is that, while development in Moraga may be a perceived as a "boon" to Moraga, it is a "bane" to Lafayette. Moraga receives the benefits (increased property/sales tax revenue, etc.), while Lafayette bears the economic and quality of life costs (road repair, traffic congestion, public safety problems, etc.).
Terry Maiken has been a resident of Lafayette for almost 40 years.