The Lafayette Planning Commission and Design Review Commission got its first look Monday night at a revised proposal for a housing development at the northwest corner of Mt. Diablo Boulevard and Dolores Drive.
The proposal by Lennar Homes would place 70 condominiums and a 4,500-square-foot restaurant on the 2.2-acre site.
The revised proposal received general praise from city planners as well as commissioners, although they still had concerns and suggestions.
“We are pleased with the direction of this project,” said City Planning and Building Director Niroop Srivatsa.
Commissioners said they were happy with the revisions, but they also said the number of units might have to be reduced.
Design Review Commissioner Bob Cleaver said he felt the design was “too urban” for the west end of town.
“It needs to be a little softer,” he said.
The developer will now revise its plans furthur and bring them back to the commissions.
It called for 47 townhouses in four clusters on the 2.2-acre property. Eight of the units would have needed an exemption from the city’s 35-foot height limit.
The project was criticized by commissioners and residents as being too dense as well as creating traffic and parking problems.
On Monday night, Lennar Homes brought back the revised proposal that was described by city planners as a “complete redesign.”
The new proposal increases the number of units to 70, but they are stacked flats in three 3-story buildings over a basement garage. The units would be one, two and three-bedroom residences. None of the structures would be higher than 35 feet.
The proposed development would have a 4,500-square-foot restaurant at the corner of Mt. Diablo and Dolores where Celia’s Mexican restaurant now sits. The developers called it a potential “gateway” to the western end of Lafayette.
Chuck Tang of Studio T-SQ, which is working with Lennar Homes on the project, said the developers incorporated the feedback from the September meeting into the new design.
“We took those comments to heart,” he said. “The constructive criticism you gave us has made the project better.”
Lennar representatives said they have invested more money into the project, especially with a new podium design.
They added they are open to more revisions.
“There’s still a lot of work in front of us,” said one representative.
Five people spoke during the public comments.
Three of them were still critical of the project.
Ty Allison said the development would be “disastrous to small town Lafayette.”
He called it an “overblown development” that would make traffic even worse on Mt. Diablo Boulevard.
“To me, this is completely astonishing,” said Allison. “The sentiment in town is against these types of development.”
Guy Atwood questioned why the number of units had been increased by 50 percent since the September meeting. He also was concerned about how cars would get in and out of the development.
Kelly Stough of Diamond K Supply said she wanted it noted that their business has been across the street from the site for the past 75 years. She said the store wants to be sure they aren’t asked to change their operations should a residential project be built on the property.
Emily Blanck told commissioners her family moved from Lafayette to Moraga 22 years. She said she and her husband would like to move back to Lafayette now that they are empty nesters and they are looking for a condominium.“I encourage you to consider this or some other condominium facility downtown,” she said.