Truckee council paves way for Raley’s grocery store project
Local residents can look forward to another grocery store option after a decision by the Town of Truckee Council cleared the way for a Raley’s project to proceed.
The council unanimously approved a resolution on Tuesday evening, March 13, which denied an appeal of the proposed grocery store and upheld prior approval for the project by the Truckee Planning Commission.
The decision came at the conclusion of 3 1/2-hour hearing on the project, which is earmarked for a 5.5-acre parcel at Soaring Way and State Route 267. The parcel is located adjacent to the Truckee Tahoe Airport.
After Truckee Planning Manager Jenna Gatto laid out the specifics of the project, which is in an area known as Soaring Ranch, the appellants of the proposal stepped forward to make their case before the council.
William Griffin III, who is the owner of New Moon Natural Foods on Donner Pass Road, said the addition of Raley’s would adversely affect another grocery store proposal in town.
He mentioned the Nugget Markets grocery store, which is part of the Railyard project at the edge of downtown on Donner Pass Road. Griffin said approval of the Raley’s project could doom the Nugget Markets proposal.
“Directly or indirectly you are going to be picking a winner and a loser,” Griffin said.
Shortly thereafter, the team behind the Raley’s project stepped forward and addressed the council.
“We’ve been considering Truckee for many years,” said Chelsea Minor, director of public relations and public affairs for Raley’s.
She also said the airport is primed for the project, and that the store’s design is not a “cookie-cutter model,” as Raley’s builds stores that fit the communities in which they are located.
The Raley’s store would measure about 40,000 square feet with an attached 12,000 square feet of co-anchor retail and a 7,000-square-foot freestanding retail building, based on project details. The project also includes more than 200 parking spaces.
“I’m hoping tonight you will make our dreams come true,” said Minor in closing.
During the public comment period, which followed, a number of residents stepped forward to say they were in favor of the Raley’s project.
“I look forward to more options up here,” said Ron Miller, who bought a residence in Truckee about two years ago with the intention of it being a vacation home but has since made the move permanent. “I’m in support of the new grocery store.”
Other people cited the role Raley’s plays in other communities, most notably charitable giving. Last year, through its Purposeful Giving platform, Raley’s gave back more than $10 million to various organizations in Northern California, and the Reno and Tahoe markets.
One issue that arose more than once during the course of the hearing was housing. During final deliberations among the council members, Morgan Goodwin talked about housing and how critical the need is in the community. Goodwin said he was generally comfortable with the project, but was concerned about the lack of a housing component.
But Councilman Patrick Flora, who presided over the discussion, said the site was identified for what was being proposed under the Joerger Ranch Specific Plan, which established development guidelines for the area.
A little while later, Councilwoman Jessica Abrams called for a motion to approve the resolution. Goodwin seconded the motion, and then the vote was taken.
“The motion carries unanimously,” Flora said. “Thank you all for your time.”
Staff writer Wyatt Haupt Jr. can be reached at 530-550-2652 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.