As we have promised, here is the letter we sent to Lafayette City Council - we will meet with them tomorrow to discuss, but if you have any thoughts/c

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As we have promised, here is the letter we sent to Lafayette City Council - we will meet with them tomorrow to discuss, but if you have any thoughts/comments please let us know asap!


November 11, 2013
To: (sent to all Council Members)
From: Lafayette First
Delivered via Email and Envelope
Dear Council Member:

On September 17th, 2013, we hosted a “Town Hall” meeting at the Veterans building to raise awareness about Plan Bay Area and housing developments in Lafayette. Approximately 175‐200 citizens attended, listened to presentations and voiced their own independent views in an open Q&A. All City Council members were invited, and we were glad to see some representation.

Given the alarming changes that are taking place in our City and the surrounding areas, people were
decidedly concerned about Lafayette’s local choices. Whether the topic was the “Terraces”, the Hungry Hunter, the Edens, the Lennar proposal at Celia’s, the Woodburry condos behind the Veterans Memorial Building or the approved 5‐story building behind BART, there was genuine concern about our City’s direction.

Of equal concern was the momentum with which these developments are getting under way and City Council’s apparent willingness to accommodate them. While there appears to be directional progress lately with the “Terraces”, Lafayette citizens showed apprehension with regard to the following:
A) Lafayette’s housing density is increasing (and at an increasing rate)
B) Height limits truly do not exist
C) Lafayette’s costs & capabilities of essential services cannot handle these proposed changes

Importantly, there was significant concern that Lafayette City Council has not formally analyzed how the densification, height limits or costs will be handled on a longer term basis. Succinctly, costs will outweigh revenue and our schools and services will suffer dramatically.

We gathered questions at the Town Hall and followed up by polling attendees and absentees to
determine what questions they wanted answered by City Council. With that feedback, we submit the
following questions to you:

1. Please provide a list of all the current and proposed projects in the downtown and surrounding area (of any significance) and remark on the attributes of the attached matrix. It would be nice to see a map of our downtown area that represents “big‐picture” of the planned developments, too, so that citizens can get a broader understanding of what is happening.
2. With regard to the above question/matrix, please provide any modeling that has taken place on the decision making process including, but not limited to:
a. How tax revenue for the City will be affected
b. How parcel tax revenues may be affected
c. How school enrollment will be affected and whether new schools can be built/budgeted
for (have there been meetings with the Lafayette and Acalanes School Districts)
d. Fire Department Modeling
e. Police Department Modeling
f. Parking Modeling
g. Any other Modeling that has been completed
3. Can you provide details on how much grant money Lafayette has received historically under
what is today’s Plan Bay Area and PDA, (project/date/grant $/total cost$, restrictions i.e. strings attached), and can you provide details on how much grant money Lafayette expects to receive in the coming 5‐10 years?
4. Based on the data from #3, has Council formally considered whether participating in Plan Bay Area (and as a PDA) is worthwhile and what the costs of NOT participating would be? Is the
tradeoff truly worthwhile or could we raise money through other methods (Measure J, taxes
etc). Would our RHNA allocations possibly even go down if we were not involved with ABAG, as
appeared to be the case for Corte Madera?
5. Please provide each Councilmembers vote (“yes” or “no”) on
a. whether Lafayette should be part of Plan Bay Area?
b. whether Lafayette should become a Priority Development Area (PDA) and

Footnote: we would like to know how each elected official voted for Lafayette to become a PDA. If you would like, please include historical Councilmember/Mayoral positions and/or

1. How has Council represented the “best interests” of the citizens of Lafayette? Why wouldn’t an important issue such as designating Lafayette as a PDA be put up for a vote? Or even the formation of a committee, which has been done for far less dramatic issues (such as “Fields”)?
2. Would you consider holding a Council meeting specifically dedicated to Plan Bay Area and
Lafayette’s decisions/role? We would like to suggest a 2‐3 hour meeting where citizens can ask their own questions and get direct feedback from Councilmembers.
a. Please vote on this idea and provide the response of each Councilmember.
b. If you were to accept, thanks! Everyone thought it would be good for the community.
c. If you were to not accept, how many petition signatures would you require to
determine that this is indeed the request of your constituency?
3. Someone raised the question about conflicts of interest & the recent recommendation by
Lafayette’s Legal Counsel for Traci Reilly to excuse herself of the Terraces discussions. Are there any other conflicts of interest the City Council faces and has Legal Counsel recommended similar treatment for Councilmember Brandt Andersson with regard to Plan Bay Area & the PDA (since he is on the ABAG Executive Committee)?
4. Please provide a timeline/size/stature representation of how our Planning Department has changed over the past 30 years. Include the following by calendar year:
a. # of employees
b. Annual payroll (including salary, overtime, benefits, healthcare, pension…etc)
c. Total Annual Cost (for all services)

Thank you for your attention to these questions – We tried our best to aggregate the feedback from
the community and look forward to your response.

Please send to
On behalf of “Lafayette First”,
Alex & Denise Flagg
Anouschka & Jim Wardy
cc: Other members of Lafayette City Council