Betts, MAPF compromise on project
Owners James and Janis Betts of Betts Enterprises reached an agreement with the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation last week, clearing the way for construction to begin on their new building on River Park Place.
Community Development Director Tony Lashbrook unveiled the compromise during the Truckee Town Council meeting Thursday, Dec. 18, when time was set aside for MAPF’s appeal to be heard in a public hearing.
“The applicants and the appellant have sat down this week and discussed the project,” Lashbrook said. “The meetings between them have resulted in some changes to the structure.”
MAPF appealed the Nov. 12 planning commission decision to approve the Betts building, because of the size, color and materials used in the structure. Betts Enterprises constructs custom yachts, and required the 240-foot-long building to handle the large yacht components.
Changes to the metal building include a wood cornice running across the top and sides of
the structure, wood siding on portions of the building facing the river, and a textured granite strip around the base of the building. The structure will also be painted in earth tones, rather than the blue and gray color scheme planned initially.
“With the applicant and appellant sitting down and working out the changes, we would recommend that the council act to approve the modified design,” Lashbrook said.
“I am extremely happy there is an agreement between MAPF and the applicant,” MAPF representative Steve Frisch said. “Stefanie Olivieri did the vast majority of the work for MAPF in the meetings. She was unable to be here tonight, but asked me to pass on her thanks to James and Janis Betts.”
Frisch said MAPF was aware of the many positive aspects of the Betts project, including the possibility of several more non-seasonal jobs for Truckee.
“I would urge the town council to adopt the modified design,” Frisch said. “I would also like to thank the Betts for the time they have spent on this.”
Attorney Jim Porter, who represented the Betts at the council meeting, said that his clients plan to build a 103-foot yacht in the new building once the structure is completed.
“They are also hoping to land a contract for an America’s Cup yacht,” Porter said. “There are six syndicates building yachts for the 2000 America’s Cup, and the only other yacht-builder in the U.S. is back east.”
Council approved the changes to the project by a 5-0 vote.
Reached for comment Friday, Janis Betts said she was pleased with the compromise, and happy that the issue is now resolved.
“After MAPF filed the appeal, we wanted to meet and see exactly where they were coming from,” Betts said. “If we weren’t that far apart we hoped a few changes here or there could make the difference. It was a mutual agreement that we would meet, and it went well.”
She praised the work done by Porter, architect Ron Driller and the town planning staff, who all worked rapidly to implement the changes.
Betts said working the problems out by compromise before the council meeting was best for everyone.
“We certainly didn’t want to go into a council meeting and have a lengthy process of one group versus the other,” she said. “Hopefully in the future of Truckee other projects can work out as well as ours.”
Betts said that the firm has a good chance to be selected to build an America’s Cup yacht, and is currently working on building 20-foot tank models to send to the east coast for testing.
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