The first Housing Accountability Act case that CaRLA took on was the 315 homes as part of the Terraces of Lafayette apartment project. We ended up not winning the lawsuit but still left in its wake a message that resonates even today: The era of cities flouting their own laws to deny housing is nearing an end.
The outcome of that case was less than ideal. Through procedural slight of hand, the city got the developer to acquiesce to submitting a second, smaller project–this time consisting entirely of 44 luxury single family homes, which rendered the case more or less moot. Not content with such a minor victory, the citizens of Lafayette filed papers to put a referendum on the ballot challenging the approval of those 44 luxury single family homes.
If the referendum got a “Yes” vote, O’Brien Land Company would begin building 44 luxury single family homes in the hills of Lafayette.
If the referendum got a “No” vote, then the approval of those 44 McMansions would be rescinded. It would also allow for the original 315 unit proposal to continue; Lafayette decided to put that application on hold indefinitely rather than follow through with an unlawful denial.
Hm. I wonder what happened with yesterday’s election?
We’ll see you again soon, Lafayette!