The Renters Federation claims that Lafayette illegally blocked a 315-unit residential development plan in favor of a smaller 44-unit development on the same land. Contra Costa County Superior Court Judge Judith Craddick has overruled Lafayette’s claims that the plaintiffs had no standing to sue and filed their suit too late. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
The case is the latest in a series of legal actions over housing project sizes. Many previous suits have focused on blocking or shortening the projects in progress, but the plantiffs are pushing for the construction of more units. They believe that more housing unit production will eventually lower prices for all tenants.
“As long as municipalities try to keep out lower-income families and young people, [California’s] housing crisis will continue," said Ryan Patterson of Zacks, Freedman & Patterson, the plantiffs’ attorney. "By calling it to the court's attention that municipalities are avoiding state law to keep these populations out, this case can potentially put a stop to that illegal activity."