Assessment fee for downtown improvements eyed | SierraSun.com
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Assessment fee for downtown improvements eyed

David Bunker

Truckee’s downtown merchants will get another stab at creating an assessment district to build sidewalks, lights and landscaping in the commercial area on both sides of the Truckee River. The Truckee Town Council authorized a contract with consultant Downtown Resources to develop a cost analysis for an improvement district. An informal poll of businesses to gauge support will be the next step. Then a formal vote will follow, which must be won by a simple majority of businesses to enact the improvement district.Proponents of the streetscape plan hope that by eliminating the downtown parking improvements from the cost, which were included in the last effort for an assessment district, the share of financial burden on each business will become more palatable.”What makes Commercial Row work is the sidewalk, the pedestrian traffic and the ambience,” said Jerry Wood, Downtown Merchants Association president. “I can see how this is a betterment to the whole town.”The $14,900 of work done by the consultant will nail down the cost that individual commercial properties will be responsible for in the improvement district.In other council action, the town will ask that the Foothill Airport Land Use Commission to include a provision for monitoring flight patterns from the Truckee Tahoe Airport to ensure that the modeling used in the commission’s compatibility plan is correct. The airport land use compatibility plan governs land use surrounding the airport to ensure the safe compatibility of development and airport operations. The comments will reflect repeated assertions by Truckee residents that aircraft often deviate from the flight patterns that the compatibility plan used in create their safety zones.Meanwhile, East West Partners plans for 225 affordable units in its Gray’s Crossing project are taking shape. The Town of Truckee will apply for a $3.7 million grant to help with the construction financing for 92 affordable rental apartments in the Gray’s Crossing subdivision, and to help first-time homebuyers with down payment assistance. The money used for the affordable apartments in Gray’s Crossing will be lent by the town to Pacific Communities, the developer that will build the units. The grant money will be returned to the town in an agreement similar to a loan pact, and used on a revolving basis for other first-time homebuyer or affordable housing programs.As the Nov. 2 election approaches, council members endorsed Proposition 1A, a measure that will protect local government tax dollars from state budget raids. Proposition 1A is an enhanced version of Proposition 65, which will also be on the ballot but is now obsolete with the emergence of the new proposition, said Town Manager Steve Wright.”Proposition 1A actually provides more protections for local government than Proposition 65,” said Wright.The initiative will channel $1.3 billion of local money to the state over the next few years to help with the fiscal crisis, but then be repaid for last year’s take-away and have added protections for local taxes in the future.Finally, the council approved speed limits on Alder Drive to drop from 45 mph to 25 mph.The Joerger Drive speed limit will be set at 40 mph. Brockway Road will have a speed limit progression of 25 mph closest to downtown, to 35 mph from South River Street to Palisades Drive, and 45 mph to the intersection of state Route 267.


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