Boca Sierra Estates; Developers expect to submit plans in Jan.
Two months after Measure M was narrowly defeated in the November election, work continues on a specific plan for Boca Sierra Estates, the development on PC-2 targeted by Measure M proponents, who sought to limit commercial space on the property.
“Right now we’re still in a planning stage,” said Union Bank of California Trust Officer Brian Mullins, who represents the Hopkins family, owners of all land in PC-2. “The initiative created a situation where we stopped all planning and focused on dealing with the initiative.”
Mullins said the developers are putting the finishing touches on a specific plan for Boca Sierra Estates, which will be submitted to the Town of Truckee’s planning division some time in January.
“It’s taking us a little longer to get back on track,” Mullins said. He reiterated that the Hopkins family hopes the development will be an asset to Truckee.
“The project builds out over the lifetime of the General Plan,” Mullins said. “There are lots of things on line for that area and we hope to be a part of them in a positive way.”
Mullins said the developers have been awaiting the outcome of the talks between the Town of Truckee and Caltrans concerning the 267 Bypass. The town has been negotiating with Caltrans to keep two ramps open at the Interstate 80-Highway 89 interchange. The Hopkins property is located on the northwest side of the interchange.
“If the downtown merchants support the ramps, we support that,” Mullins said. “A healthy, vibrant downtown is good for our business.”
Mullins said he plans to be in the Truckee area a lot next year, and hopes to better inform the community about the project.
“We plan to reach out as we did before to weave people who are not informed into the project,” Mullins said. “Once people are informed, they will be more comfortable with our plans than they were with all the rhetoric during the campaign.”
Town Planner Duane Hall said the review of the spe
cific plan by town planning staff will include public workshops at the beginning of the process.
“This is a lengthy process of one to two years, and we will be involving the public very early in the process,” Hall said. “We want to get their input early.”
Hall explained that there is no set process for handling the review of the specific plan for PC-2, although several things must be done before the plan may be approved.
An environmental impact review in accordance with the California Environmental Quality Act must be conducted, followed by the public review of the EIR.
“Early in the process we would have public workshops, and lay the project out to the public. As part of these workshops, we would hope to get input from community members on their concerns and major issues. Those could then be addressed during the staff review and the EIR process.”
Hall said once the application is submitted, the staff will study it and determine if there is enough information to review the project. If the information is sufficient, the public workshops would be set up at that time.
Stefanie Olivieri, president of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, said the group plans to maintain an active role in the public process for development on PC-2.
“We anticipate being represented at all public hearings and workshops, and reading all the literature provided by the agencies on the project,” Olivieri said. “We hope that since the initiative the community will take an active role as well.”
She said that the Hopkins family made many promises during the campaign, and the public should keep a close eye to see they keep those promises.
“One of the good things to come out of the initiative process is increased public awareness,” Olivieri said. “The public is now aware of the specific plan process, and aware that they have a voice in it.”
Local restaurateur Steve Frisch, a MAPF member and strong supporter of Measure M, also said the community should be involved in the planning process.
“I believe as many citizens as possible should be involved,” Frisch said. “There should be stronger and wider public involvement in the planning process. It is important for the town to remember that land use planning is going to be the single most important issue here for the next 15 years.”
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