BB&K In the News Dec 30, 2015

Lafayette Rejects Attempt to Block Deer Hill Housing Development

BB&K Partner Malathy Subramanian Advised City on Controversial Development Issue

By Jennifer Modenessi

Lawmakers have struck down a referendum petition seeking to block a 44-unit single family home development planned for a hillside along Highway 24.

Acting on a recommendation from City Attorney Mala Subramanian, the council voted 4-0 on Dec. 14, to reject withdrawing an ordinance allowing developer the O'Brien Land Company to build the homes at the corner of Deer Hill Road and Pleasant Hill Road instead of 315 moderate-income apartments.

The council's rejection followed a detailed explanation by the city attorney that reversing the site's zoning change would create a conflict with the amended general plan.

"Courts have consistently held that a referendum seeking to repeal a zoning amendment which would result in a zoning ordinance that is inconsistent with a general plan is a legally invalid referendum," Subramanian said.

She also cited a recent decision by a Contra Costa judge to strike down a referendum petition filed by Moraga residents asking lawmakers there to reverse a zoning change allowing townhomes instead of offices on a 3-acre site.

To see the full article published in the Contra Costa Times, click here.

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