Commission calls for a gateless town | SierraSun.com

Commission calls for a gateless town

David Bunker
Sierra Sun

Truckee’s planning commission has not only recommended that the town not allow any more gated communities to be built, they are encouraging subdivisions with gates to take them down.

The planning commission, in recommending policy for Truckee’s General Plan update, made it clear Wednesday that Truckee wants no part of the exclusive communities that are being planned and built just outside town limits.

“My point is we don’t want gated communities in Truckee ” period,” said Commissioner Bob Johnston. “My answer to gated communities is ‘forget about it.'”

Truckee has one significant gated community ” The Meadows east of Glenshire, which was approved by Nevada County before the town incorporated. Some other private roads leading to a small number of residences are gated, said Town Planner Duane Hall.

Old Greenwood, a golf course community built by East West Partners, has a “welcome center” at its entrance but is open to the public, Hall said.

Gated communities, which are not banned in the town’s current general plan, have just recently become a major issue in the area.

“This has really come to the forefront in the last five, ten years with the proliferation of gated communities in the region and nation,” Hall said.

Time will tell whether a policy of encouraging Truckee’s existing gates to come down will be effective, he said.

“It may be difficult and it may not be possible, but at least we want to make the effort,” Hall said.

Commissioners and planners are also hoping that the effect of adopting these policies will extend beyond town limits to neighboring counties.

“If the policies are included in the General Plan, what we have said is we will use these policies to make comments on decisions made by Placer County and Nevada County,” said Hall.

Over the last year Placer County has approved two gated communities in the Martis Valley just beyond Truckee’s town limits: Siller Ranch and Eaglewood.

The “no gated communities” policy will ensure that upcoming development in town, including plans for Tahoe Boca, Planned Community One and Planned Community Three are open to the public.

In the end an open, connected community will ensure that residents work together to solve any townwide problems, rather than fencing themselves away from the community, said commissioner Cadie Olsen.

“I think we need to attract people who want to be part of the community,” Olsen said.