Published May 20th, 2015
Last Call for Monticello Road Home
By Cathy Tyson
In a last ditch effort before adoption of the official denial of their controversial home on Monticello Road at a recent city council meeting, property owner Linda Wight questioned the Lafayette City Council about the large proposed home, calling its decision "duplicitous." She explained that due to the instructions from the city, the Wights moved the house location toward the eastern side of the hilly, almost 14-acre property. This necessitated a number of design changes, including bunkering the home into the hillside and making it two stories, which she said, "was not our preference or choice," as they are getting older and wanted a one-level home, but a "direct consequence of the city's direction to us."
A 21-page denial resolution was ready to go spelling out in great detail findings that couldn't be made at the council's April 13 meeting. On a split vote at that meeting, after years of discussion, the city council voted to deny the project. Usually a simple procedural matter on the consent calendar follows once a decision has been made, adopting the denial resolution, settling the matter.
Not so with the drama surrounding the Wight's home. Both Steve and Linda Wight wrote a scathing letter to the city council on April 20 expressing their disappointment and belief that "we have been shabbily treated by this lengthy City process," adding that they have been "unnecessarily harmed by such a sustained delay in obtaining a decision from the City."
They concluded by urging the council to "thoughtfully consider our application and adopt the resolution of approval" at the upcoming May 11 meeting. The attorney for the couple, David Bowie, was in attendance arguing that years ago the city approved the site and massing for Phase I that required much less grading and was single story. "Then you created this bunkering situation" and disapproved Phase II, adding that it is "inappropriate and incorrect to say there is too much grading."
Ed Shaffer, attorney for the Glen Neighborhood, stated the denial lays out objective findings and there is no basis for "clearly arbitrary or capricious" claims.
Members of the city council didn't budge from their original votes, three in favor of denying the project, one in favor of approval and one abstention.

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