Council considers land-use deal
A proposal to construct a 120-unit hotel, two 5,000 square-foot restaurants, several retail shops, a few professional offices and 30 or more apartments on 13 acres adjacent to the cemetery is the subject of a settlement agreement to be considered for approval at tonight’s town council meeting.
A formal draft of the settlement agreement with Peoria-Sunnyside, LLC, states that the town will before Sept. 1 approve the project, which requires an amendment to the Downtown Specific Plan and Visitor Lodging zoning, or litigation will resume.
“It was done with a fairly tight timeframe,” Councilmember Don McCormack said. “But we think it’s do-able. If a Downtown Specific Plan amendment is required, it can be done in that time.”
The settlement to be considered tonight previously halted Peoria-Sunnyside litigation regarding plans for the project site, commonly known as the Barsell property.
While the settlement agreement states that the settlement is void unless the town approves the project, Peoria acknowledges that the town cannot commit in advance to the outcome of the application, nor will the project be exempt from environmental review or the public hearing process. Failure to approve the application will provide no cause for additional legal action by Peoria, the settlement states.
If the Interstate 80 eastbound off-ramp and westbound on-ramp are closed as planned by Caltrans
to accommodate the bypass project, both parties will meet to jointly amend the project, the settlement states.
“The town has approved and Caltrans has agreed to sign an agreement which retains the ramps,” Town Attorney J. Dennis Crabb said.
That agreement is currently being considered before the Federal Highway Administration, he said.
If council approves the settlement, the town agrees to assist with the construction costs of sewer and water service installation for the hotel. The amount of assistance will equal 50 percent of the transient occupancy tax generated by the hotel
during its first five years of operation.
The Truckee Cemetery District responded in writing to the town’s consideration of the settlement agreement and defined two areas of particular concern to the district.
The cemetery’s “natural serenity and solitude” will be affected by the cultural and visual impact of the project, Truckee Cemetery District Chair William Satmary wrote.
The project as planned would require the cemetery district to abandon its current 100-year-old entrance which would change the historical significance of the cemetery, he wrote.
A plan retaining the main entrance and its access road would reduce district objections, Satmary said.
He also urged that architectural and landscaping plans provide noise and visual screening.
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Motorists on Interstate 80 should expect delays today as the California Department of Transportation continues work on the $2.5 million Farad rockfall project.