The controversial Terraces of Lafayette development project can finally move forward, after the California Supreme Court last week denied a request for review from project opponents Save Lafayette.

The decision likely ends more than two years of litigation against the city of Lafayette and developer O’Brien Land Company over the city’s approval of the 315-unit project, slated for Deer Hill and Pleasant Hill roads

“The courts have once again affirmed that the city complied with the Housing Accountability Act and the California Environmental Quality Act in its environmental review and approval of this 20 percent affordable housing project,” Lafayette Mayor Carl Anduri said in a statement, posted on the city’s website. “The litigation is over, and we should now focus on welcoming new residents to our community.”

The Terraces of Lafayette project is depicted in an architectural rendering. O’Brien Land Company is developing the 315-unit project near the junction of Deer Hill and Pleasant Hill roads in Lafayette. (Image via Terraces of Lafayette)

In November 2022, a state court of appeals upheld a superior court’s 2021 decision that the city’s 2013 environmental review report complied with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and that the city properly followed the state’s housing accountability act in approving the project. Save Lafayette sued the city in 2020 to overturn the City Council’s approval of the project. The group said there were environmental, general plan and zoning consistency issues.

The council approved the project in August 2020, after more than nine years of planning by O’Brien Land Company, which is planning to offer 63 of the 315 units at below market rates.

Community members had a long list of concerns about the project, including wildfire safety and the project’s traffic study.

“The litigation is over, and we should now focus on welcoming new residents to our community.”

Mayor Carl Anduri

The development will sit on a 22-acre parcel on Deer Hill Road, just west of Pleasant Hill Road and north of state Highway 24, near Acalanes High School. Plans are for seven three-story buildings and seven two-story structures.

Supporters say the dense residential development, about a mile and a half from Lafayette BART, is the type of transit-friendly housing called for in regional planning efforts including Plan Bay Area 2050, a long-range plan for the nine-county San Francisco Bay Area.

Opponents said the project is inconsistent with the city’s semi-rural character and would make traffic worse near key commute routes. They also said it would violate the city’s general plan. More information about the project can be found on the city’s website.