Lafayette: Homes at Deer Hill lawsuit moves forward

By Jennifer Modenessi : bayareanewsgroup – excerpt

A Contra Costa Superior Court judge has upheld a ruling that allows a lawsuit against developers and the city of Lafayette to move forward.

 Judge Judith S. Craddick affirmed Aug. 9 a tentative ruling rejecting the city and developer O’Brien Land Company’s request that the lawsuit filed by the San Francisco Bay Area Renters’ Federation not move forward.
 The city and developer filed the demurrer challenging the legal basis — but not the merits — of SFBARF’s suit. The group claims Lafayette broke state housing law when the city council approved a 44-home development that replaced 315 moderate-income apartments known as the Terraces of Lafayette originally pitched for a hillside above Highway 24.
 “I’m thrilled that we won at this stage,” said Sonja Trauss, the group’s founder. “The next step is to prepare for a trial.”
 City Manager Steve Falk said the ruling was “not entirely surprising” given the judge’s earlier tentative judgment, which rejected in part the city and developer’s arguments SFBARF had exceeded the statute of limitations to file its legal challenge.
 “No one has won or lost the lawsuit yet,” Falk said. “It’s just kind of a step along the way”… (more)
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