Grocery Outlet proposal approved by Truckee planning commission
A controversial proposal to build a discount grocery store along Donner Pass Road was unanimously approved by the Town of Truckee Planning Commission on Tuesday evening, Feb. 20.
The planning commission gave the go-ahead for a Grocery Outlet at Donner Pass Road and Vista Avenue after a more than four-hour meeting on the issue. The decision was made by three of the five planning commission members, as two others were absent.
The meeting started with a breakdown of the project from Town of Truckee Assistant Planner Kirk Skierski, before the project architects and backers took center stage to talk about the proposal.
“We are very proud of what has been designed,” said Brad Hays of Capitol Avenue Development of West Sacramento, which serves as the “applicant team” for the project.
The 17,568-square-foot Grocery Outlet includes 11,600 square feet of gross retail area, 4,527 square feet of gross storage area, a 900-square-foot mezzanine area to be utilized for storage or office space, and more than 50 on-site parking spaces.
The Grocery Outlet will look different than the usual blueprint, as it has been designed with respect to town standards. That means the exterior will feature a more rustic, mountain look.
The project also consists of two residential components — one 530-square-foot, one-bedroom unit and one 788-square-foot, two-bedroom unit.
After the architects and backers of the project finished their presentations that led into the public comment portion of the meeting, at which a number of local residents said the grocery store was a bad fit for the area.
Town residents cited a wide range of issues that the new retail establishment would create, including an increase of traffic, an oversaturation of grocery stores in town, and noise.
Sharon Arnold said her dad built the Vista Avenue home she lives in with her husband, Bud, 60 years ago after the construction of Interstate 80 took part of their previous family residence at the top of Spring Street in downtown.
She said local residents have previously fought to keep vehicles and semi-trucks from exiting and entering Vista Avenue from a commercial project at the site.
“It doesn’t make any difference what the business is,” she said.
Arnold said it was inconsiderate to dump traffic from a planned driveway at the Grocery Outlet site onto Vista Avenue near the home of her neighbors.
“The noise level will be intolerable for the homeowners on or around Tahoe Drive.”
She also said the traffic on Donner Pass Road has only gotten worse through the years, and referred to it as “an accident waiting to happen.”
Her husband, Bud, said he did not have a complaint about the building proposal for the site, at one point saying he thought it would be a pretty nice store, but he did take issue with access to the grocery store.
“But the access onto Vista Avenue, which is a residential street, should not be made onto a commercial property where their traffic is brought onto our street,” he said.
He went on to note that anybody who lives in Truckee, and sees the entrances to businesses such as Safeway and Save Mart, knows vagrants and panhandlers hang out with their signs.
“That’s going to happen on Vista Avenue,” he said.
Following the public comment portion of the meeting, the three-member planning commission fired off a number of questions for the applicant team and city staff members.
Those questions ranged from delivery times for goods to signage, traffic, fencing, snow removal, and income requirements for the housing component of the project.
Planning Commission Chairman Seth Kielas led the discussion, which lasted for more than two hours, with fellow commission members Jerusha Hall and Amanda Wiebush. Commission members David Polivy and Doug Gadow were absent.
For more information about the project visit townoftruckee.com
Staff writer Wyatt Haupt Jr. can be reached at 530-550-2652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is such a thing as loving a place to death, and with the growing masses visiting Lake Tahoe every year, overtourism is a top issue.