Council considers insurance payment for Wolfe Estates | SierraSun.com
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Council considers insurance payment for Wolfe Estates

ANNE GROGAN, Sierra Sun

The developers of Wolfe Estates Phase IV have not fulfilled the terms of their development agreement and now the Truckee Town Council must decide whether or not to accept an insurance bond payment which is $80,000 less than the projected cost for completing the work.

In July of last year, the Truckee Town Council authorized Town Engineer Dan Wilkins to notify Developers Insurance Co. that Wolfe Development, Inc. had not constructed necessary roadway and utility improvements as required by the development agreement between the town and Wolfe Development. The agreement, forged five years earlier and secured by Developers Insurance Co., had expired.

Since then, the Developers Insurance Co., has determined that Wolfe Development, Inc. is unlikely to fulfill its terms of the agreement.

The Developers Insurance Co. solicited construction completion cost estimates from two local contractors which were $340,000 and $334,000. The work is only insured to the amount of $267,588. Of this, $12,740 is earmarked as an administration fee for dealing with bond acceptance and disbursement.

At a Feb. 11 meeting between town officials, affected property owners and a representative of Wolfe Development, Jean Solberg, Solberg said that Wolfe Development intended to complete the roadway improvements at some point in the future and that that town acceptance of the insurance bond payment would be irresponsible.

Despite Solberg’s statement, town staff recommended in a report that council accept the payment due to the likelihood that the cost of completing the road work will increase as inflation increases.

Staff also recommended that Wolfe Developers be notified that the town would consider returning the bond payment to the insurance company if Wolfe Development fulfilled its agreement to construct the road and utility improvements.

Wolfe Estates Phase IV property owners have been advised by town staff to form a legal entity such as a homeowners association, to serve as a representative agency in dealing with the town on all future issues related to Wolfe Estates Phase IV.

“The town is really looking to try and help the property owners in that portion of Wolfe Estates because until road improvements are made, we cannot issue building permits there,” Town Manager Steve Wright said. “We’ve lost our patience with the developer.”

The town attorney said the town has no legal responsibility to fund the insurance payment shortfall though the property owners may request that the town fund the approximate $80,000 amount.

The town attorney has also advised that the town is not responsible for obtaining additional funding or necessary construction permits, nor is the town responsible for performing project redesign or construction administration, though the property owners may request that the town accept such responsibility.

In other business, Captain Gary Jacobson submitted a request for council to approve four increases in parking violations fines.

If approved, the fine for unauthorized use of disabled parking will increase from $250 to $300, the fine for parking a vehicle where it obstructs a fire hydrant would increase from $25 to $100, the fine for two-hour zone violations would increase from $15 to $25 and fines for parking on South Shore Drive will increase from $27 to $30.

Council will also be asked to determine whether a downtown property owned by Dave Giacomini and Dave Taylor has historic and/or architectural significance in accordance with the Historic Resources Inventory Update criteria, methodology and guidelines.

If the building is determined to be of no historic or architectural significance, the owners may remove or demolish the building without any further special approvals.

If the building is determined to be of significance historically or architecturally, the building cannot be demolished without a planning commission approved certificate of economic hardship.

Immediately following the regularly scheduled town council meeting, town council members will reconvene as the Truckee Redevelopment Agency to review a town attorney recommendation that the town secure outside specialty counsel in the outstanding lawsuit filed by Nevada County against the Town of Truckee and the redevelopment agency. The town attorney’s recommendation came after the county secured outside specialty counsel.

After extensive interviewing, town staff recommended that the law firm of Sabo and Green be secured as the outside specialty counsel. Sabo and Green recently concluded the successful defense of the Mammoth Lakes Redevelopment Plan, a case with many similarities to the Nevada County case.

Truckee Town Council will meet tonight at 6 p.m. in the boardroom of the Truckee-Donner Public Utility District on Donner Pass Road.


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