Condo project moving forward
Design changes to a condominium project near the intersection of Risa Road and Mt. Diablo Boulevard were greenlighted this week, and developers can now move forward with obtaining permits for construction.
Design review commissioners on Monday approved the design tweaks requested last fall by the city's Planning Commission following the approval of a zoning request from Branagh Development for a scaled-down version of The Woodbury complex.
The developers are planning to build 56 condominiums, a community room and gym. The project also call for bike and pedestrian pathways on a stretch of land owned by the East Bay Municipal Utility District in front of the condos, and the creation of 18 affordable housing units in an off-site location downtown.
The developer hopes to submit construction drawings within the next couple of months and pull a building permit, according to the city staff.
Developer appeals project's report
The owners of a Lafayette hillside who want to build a 315-unit apartment building there are appealing the project's environmental review.
Attorney David Bowie is challenging the Planning Commission's certification of the final environmental impact review of the Terraces of Lafayette on behalf of his clients, property owner Anna Marie Dettmer and the O'Brien Land Company. They are hoping to build the complex on a portion of a 22-acre lot at the intersection of Deer Hill Road and Pleasant Hill Road near Acalanes High School.
The appeal argues that 13 "significant unavoidable impacts" attributed to the development, construction and future operation of the Terraces are not as significant as claimed in the EIR. The applicants are asking that city leaders consider the merits of the project and its conformity with the city's general plan and existing zoning.
The appeal will be heard at 7 p.m. Monday at the Lafayette Library and Learning Center community hall, 3491 Mt. Diablo Blvd. Comments can also be submitted to senior planner Greg Wolff at GWolff@ci.lafayette.ca.us; mailed to the city or faxed to 925-284-3169.
The council will not consider the merit of the project at the meeting, according to a hearing notice.
Multifamily housing smoking ban eyed
Lafayette officials are eyeing changes to the city's municipal code to address the effects of secondhand smoke in apartment buildings and other multiple dwelling units.
On May 13, the City Council will hear options ranging from a total smoking ban in existing and proposed multifamily projects to a phased-in program. The new rules will "address and mitigate the effects of secondhand smoke in multifamily buildings and other areas," according to a city notice.
The municipal code would be revised only after council approval. The changes could impact businesses, multifamily residential properties, residents and property owners.
The move follows state legislation introduced in February by Assemblyman Marc Levine of San Rafael that would ban smoking in multifamily dwellings except in designated areas.
Las Huertas home hearing set for May 20
A hearing that could determine the fate of a house some Lafayette residents would like to see become a historical landmark has been rescheduled for May 20 to accommodate officials unable to attend previously scheduled meetings and those who have recused themselves.
The owners of the Las Huertas Road property are requesting reconfiguration of two lots that will facilitate improvements to one lot and allow them to demolish a 1930s-era house on the other. Some neighbors and other residents are criticizing that idea and are planning to seek historical recognition for the house.
Three planning commissioners have recused themselves from the project: Jeanne Ateljevich, who lives near the property; Rick Humann, who prepared the land survey; and Patricia Curtin-Tinley, whose firm is representing a neighbor.
The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Lafayette Library & Learning Center community hall.
Farmers market OK'd for spring return
The Lafayette farmers market will return in May after receiving City Council approval this week.
Officials on Monday approved a temporary land use permit that will allow Urban Village Farmer's Market Association to return to the south BART parking lot off Happy Valley Road and operate a farmers market Sundays from May through November.
The market is returning with a reduced number of vendors that will increase the supply of customer parking at the lot's entrance following some violations last season, according to the city staff.
Originally pitched as year-round, the market closed Nov. 11. It is scheduled to reopen May 19.
County 4-H centennial coming up
Contra Costa County 4-H'ers are joining clubs across the state for the California 4-H centennial this year to create positive impacts in their communities.
Locally, the Lamorinda 4-H -- the largest of eight clubs in the county -- has 100 members from Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga, Pleasant Hill and Martinez, who are among more than 500 participating youths.
It is estimated there are more than one million 4-H alumni in California today, and some 17,000 volunteers who receive training and support from professional staff members in best practices for youth development.
Long gone are the days of "only cows and cooking," according to Anthony Cannon, the youth chair of the Lamorinda 4-H centennial celebration. 4-H has an array of projects, including raising animals and cooking, to robotics and rocketry, veterinary science, consumer awareness and more.
The UC 4-H development program is part of the Cooperative Extension system, with offices in every county statewide. For more information, visit www.ca4h.org.
Citizen of the Year banquet Friday
Former Moraga-Orinda Fire District board member and longtime volunteer Dick Olsen will be honored at a banquet celebration Friday in the Soda Center at Saint Mary's College.
Olsen was recently named the 2013 Moraga Citizen of the Year for his extensive volunteer work and community service. Olsen has been actively involved in various town activities, including open space preservation and the push to support road repair.
He is succeeding Moraga Citizens Network founder Ellen Beans.
The event begins with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7 p.m. and a formal program at 8 p.m.
-- Jennifer Modenessi and Sam Richards