Fast food chain slated to return to Truckee next fall | SierraSun.com

Fast food chain slated to return to Truckee next fall

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

The Taco Bell coming to Truckee has cleared two major hurdles and is on target for opening next fall.

The drive-thru restaurant, planned for a site off of Interstate 80 on Deerfield Drive, can proceed now that on-site soil contamination has been cleared and employee housing will not be required. The fast food restaurant will take the space occupied by the former Beginnings Restaurant, a building slated for demolition.

Before the environmental issue, the restaurant was set to break ground in October, franchise owner Gary Lyon said. But an environmental review of the site determined that the soil was contaminated and needed to be cleaned up.

“The contamination was old asphalt somebody dumped out there.” Lyon said. “Asphalt has oil in it ” sometimes diesel ” and that contaminates the soil.”

All the material and contaminated soil were removed and replaced up to the property lines, Lyon said.

Now that the clean-up is complete, construction will begin in May or June, he said, and construction could be complete by October or November of next year, with the restaurant opening immediately afterward.

Another potential obstacle for the Taco Bell came from a town requirement that new development include affordable housing for employees.

Original approval of the restaurant project came in 2004, before the affordable housing requirement, said Community Development Director John McLaughlin, but the housing element preceeded final approval of the building’s lighting and signs in October 2005. A permit to build could not be issued until signs and lighting had been approved. The date of the original project approval was used in determining that Taco Bell would not be subject to the affordable housing requirement, rather than the later date when lighting and signs were approved.

“That was last October, which is when the clock started for their time period,” McLaughlin said. “They have another year to pick up a permit and start construction.”

In a previous interview, project planner Denyelle Nishimori said an employee housing requirement would have forced Lyon to pay a fee, provide housing elsewhere or modify the building to include housing on-site.

Lyon said this decision means the restaurant is still approved under its 2004 conditional use permit and doesn’t fall under new regulations. Unless the Taco Bell project requires an extension to its two-year permit, the project is not required to provide housing for employees.