Could Hippie Hill become Summit Village? |

Could Hippie Hill become Summit Village?

A group of local developers has been discussing with town planning officials the possible development of Hippie Hill, the parcel of land located on the southeast corner of the intersection of Highway 89 South and Interstate 80.

The property, which extends from Highway 89 to the downtown roundabout, earned its moniker for the summer tenters who once resided there.

The proposed development, tentatively to be called Summit Village, is still in the conceptual stage of planning.

As currently proposed, Summit Village would include a conference center, a health club and spa, a resort hotel, an office and commercial village, community housing, a community campus, roadside commercial development, a lake for ice skating, tennis courts and a tennis club, playing fields and numerous timeshare units.

Dave Baker of Truckee, who is involved in the proposed project along with Lance Paulsen Investments of Olympic Valley, said that the project proponents have commissioned a study on the viability of a hotel at the site.

The developers acquired the property from the McIver family in October.

Baker said the development plan is in the very early stages, and nothing is definite yet.

“As proposed, the project would require an amendment to the town’s general plan,” Town Planner Duane Hall said. “The change would be the first general plan amendment completed for a private property owner and would reflect a major change in the town’s land-use policy.”

No application has yet been filed with the town for the proposed Summit Village development.

Brickelltown Demolition

Downtown property owner Bob Hunt has submitted to the town a certificate of economic hardship application proposing the demolition of an existing residential structure located within the boundaries of the historic preservation district of Truckee.

In documents submitted to the town, Hunt stated that he purchased the Brickelltown property in Jan. 1998 with the intention of developing a new historically designed project in the downtown area. Analysis of the site began in the spring of 1998.

“It was obvious to all involved that the existing building cannot be restored and be economically feasible because of its small size and poor condition,” Hunt wrote.

Only one other property owner, Tom Grossman, has previously submitted a similar application for demolition in the downtown Brickelltown area. The Grossman property became the subject of many public workshops and town council meetings and resulted in a two-year struggle between Grossman, the town, the historical society and other members of the public.

The Grossman certificate of economic hardship application eventually received approval with the added conditions placed upon the application stating that the before demolishing the existing historic structures, the property owner must receive land use approval and a permit for new construction on the Brickelltown site.

In addition, for one of the two structures for which Grossman sought demolition, Grossman was required to pursue renovation as new construction alternative.

The Hunt documents refer indirectly to the Grossman case as the “precedent set by others who have been met with similar challenges.”

“It is time to observe the obvious and allow the demolition of old buildings that make no financial sense to restore,” Hunt wrote. “It is possible to maintain a town’s historic nature through new construction by using appropriate building styles, material and craftmanship.”

Community Development Director Tony Lashbrook said it is too early to tell if Hunt should anticipate the public outcry faced earlier by Grossman, but that downtown zoning and the specific plan provide specific guidelines for demolition of property within the boundaries of the historic preservation district.

Another proposed project currently being reviewed by the town is the conditional use permit application filed by Sierra Pacific Power Company for the construction of a new storage facility located at 10182 Church Street.

The project proposes the construction of a 513-square-foot concrete prefabricated building with an exposed aggregate finish. The new building would be erected directly adjacent to an existing 260-square-foot metal equipment building which will be removed when construction

of the new building and the transfer of electrical equipment is completed.

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