Grocery Outlet battle in Truckee to stretch into late April
April 19, 2018
An ongoing fight between a proposed Grocery Outlet and residents who live in the neighborhood near the proposed site clashed again this week in front of the Town of Truckee Planning Commission.
The project had previously been approved by the planning commission, but is under further review, stemming from the decision by the developer, Capital Avenue Development, to modify a proposal approved by the planning commission in February.
The modification calls for the addition of a one-bedroom, one-bath workforce housing unit and nine parking spaces, which brings the total number of workforce housing units at the 1.54-acre site to three, and parking spaces to 57. The proposed size of the store also dropped to 16,147 square feet from 17,568 square feet.
The proposed development at Donner Pass Road and Vista Avenue was discussed Tuesday night, and after a round of public comment and a presentation that lasted late into the evening, the commission moved to push deliberation on the topic to April 26.
"I was told this project would be reviewed as a new project. My expectations are that you have reviewed this project with an open mind," said Sharon Arnold. "I hope all of your commissioners have read the letter with my objections … (which) has nothing to do with a grocery store, but size of the project, all of the traffic that will be shuttled onto Vista Avenue, a residential street, and how this will be a detriment to the homeowners and residents on Vista Avenue and Tahoe Drive."
Arnold, who with her husband Buzz paid $951 to appeal the grocery store earlier in the year, cited concern over parking in the neighborhood and the possibility of vagrants being attracted to the areas around the market.
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"The traffic is already congested at this location. (With) both of the entrances at Safeway and Rite Aid, it takes quite a while to make either a westbound or eastbound turn," said Nikki Riley, development director for Mountain Area Preservation. "If approved it is highly likely to be appealed … the subject site is not suitable for the type and intensity of development."
A few residents spoke in support of the store, citing the chain's lower prices as a good alternative for lower income individuals and families.
The project will be now be the first item in the commission's Special Meeting on Thursday, April 26. The Grocery Outlet and the commission's cannabis discussion are the two items on the agenda.
Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Truckee Sun. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.