The Lafayette City Council will decide Monday, March 22, whether a commercial strip on Hough Avenue can be torn down and replaced by a four-story, 20-unit residential project.

Hough Investors wants to build 46,239 square feet of family housing, with a maximum height of 48 feet, surpassing the downtown height limit of 35 feet (as do other nearby buildings). The project would also include three units specifically for moderate-income levels, which allows the developer to ask for waivers and one concession from the city.

The planning commission signed off on the project in November. The site is in a mixed-use area zoned for retail, near the intersection of Lafayette Circle and Hough Avenue on the east side, where a one-story strip of nail and hair salons and other businesses now operate. The building was constructed in 1986.

Fourteen of the units will feature three-bedrooms, with the other six containing two bedrooms. There would be onsite parking for 25 automobiles, two motorcycles, and six bicycles. The project is within walking distance to downtown and the Lafayette BART Station.

Besides a waiver for the building’s height, the developer is also asking the city to waive rules on building setbacks, open space, parking, landscaping, and allowable upper-level floor spaces. Officially, the developer is asking for one concession on rules regarding ratio of two-bedroom to three-bedroom units between market-rate and inclusionary units. State law allows the concession because at least 18 percent of all the building’s units would be considered inclusionary.

The project has received some community pushback. AD Architects, representing Moore Properties — the owner of the apartment building to the north — wrote the city a letter protesting the proposed building setbacks and the project’s open space as being insufficient and the proposed wall between the two properties as being too high.

“The overall concern is that the design approach had focused on maximizing the size and quantity of residential units while ignoring the numerous requirements noted above,” wrote Newell Arnerich, AD Architects president and current Danville vice mayor. “The proposed project will destroy the quality of life for the existing residential project at the sacrifice of these new units.”

Keith Dudum, the owner of the residential building across Lafayette Circle, wrote in support of the project.

“I am impressed not only by the forward-thinking design, but by the efficient utilization of space that the project promises,” Dudum wrote. “With the Bay Area and Lafayette experiencing a severe housing shortage, this project will provide much needed inventory to our community.”

The Lafayette City Council will meet virtually at 6:15 p.m. March 22. The meeting can be accessed online (passcode 260665) or by phone at 669-900-9128 (webinar ID 81684511519, passcode 260665.)