CHP-Truckee relocation project draws concerns; comment deadline looms
November 13, 2015
TRUCKEE, Calif. — Visual impacts are among several issues raised regarding a proposed project to relocate and upgrade the California Highway Patrol's Truckee office.
The draft environmental impact report for the CHP Truckee Area Office Replacement Project studied the new facilities on a 5.3-acre parcel bound by Pioneer Trail Road to the north and west, Donner Pass Road to the east and an on-ramp to Highway 80 to the south.
Its location is about 1.8 miles northeast of the existing Truckee CHP office at 10077 State Route 89, which reportedly does not meet seismic safety requirements and has other operational deficiencies.
This proposal is part of a statewide effort to replace aging or inadequate CHP field offices and other facilities.
According to CHP, the project would include adequate work space and storage for additional employees — 13 new employees, for 51 future employees — auto service bays, an up-to-89-foot tall radio antenna tower and a fuel island with gas tanks.
The project would result in two significant and unavoidable impacts related to visual character and cumulative transportation and traffic, according to the draft EIR.
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Other impacted areas that can be mitigated to less than significant include air quality; biological resources; cultural resources; geology, soils and seismicity; hazards and hazardous materials; hydrology and water quality; land use and planning; and noise.
Despite that, the town of Truckee has concerns with the proposal, which are listed in a six-page letter that Town Council approved Tuesday evening to be submitted, but with some modifications.
Generally, the modifications involve strengthening language related to site and buildings design, said Jenna Endres, town senior planner, with the new letter being prepared Thursday for submission.
"The project is located in a highly visible area within the town's designated scenic corridor," the original letter states. "Further, it is located in close proximity to the Coachland Mobile Home Park and the Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District Community Recreation Center."
Therefore, the letter focuses on impacts related to aesthetics, lighting, noise, traffic and the project's consistency with the town's adopted 2025 General Plan, which guides development within Truckee.
In addition, it states the draft EIR is deficient in its environmental analysis, as certain project elements such as office building height and landscaping plan are not described in adequate detail.
However, all this is prefaced with the following statement: "The town strongly supports the CHP's decision to locate an office in Truckee and is further supportive of its relocation to the proposed location."
The draft EIR's 45-day public review began Oct. 5, 2015, and ends at 5 p.m. Monday, Nov. 16.
As of Tuesday, two comment letters had been received by the state's Department of General Services, said Jacqueline Cummings, public information officer.
Comments should be mailed to State of California Department of General Services – Real Estate Services Division, ATTN: Jennifer Parson, CHP Truckee draft EIR comments, 707 Third Street, 4th Floor, MS 509, West Sacramento, CA 95605; or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emailed comments are preferred and should include one's name, address and daytime phone number in the event that a clarification is needed regarding a comment letter.
Hard copies of the draft EIR are available during normal business hours at the CHP, Sacramento Office (601 N. Seventh St.), CHP, Truckee Office (10077 State Route 89), and Truckee Library (10031 Levon Ave.)