Grant denied for Deerfield Drive project
Deerfield Village, a 160-unit affordable housing project planned on Deerfield Drive, won’t see a community development block grant this year.
Town Council voted at their March 15 meeting to deny a two-year affordable housing grant request of $1 million after hearing comments from town staff and the public.
The decision was a small victory for residents of Deerfield Drive who opposed the project because they felt the applicants were asking for too much from the town.
Jerry Burke, spokesperson for Deerfield Village, said he wanted to proceed with funding options even though the project has not been approved because it is dependent upon subsidies in order to be financially feasible.
“I do believe that authorizing the funds is a form of condoning the project,” said Eric Rohlf, a Deerfield resident. “Appropriate land use is more important than driving forward with an inadequate project because of the need for affordable housing.”
The project involves a General Plan amendment to modify the zoning from commercial to high-density residential and design plans that contradict plans by town planners.
Beyond the grant money, the project would need an additional $1.5 million in subsidy from the town to complete 80 of the units, half of the project.
“All told the applicants are looking for $2.5 million in subsidies from the town for construction of 80 units – half of the project,” said Tony Lashbrook, community development director. “The project would tie up three years of community development block grant money.”
“It would embarrass me as a Town (Council) member to get the funds and have to give them back,” said council member Bob Drake, referring to both the competition for grant money and the possibility the town might have to return the funds if the project is denied down the line.
While subsidies for Deerfield Drive hit a roadblock, increases to the Quimby fee received the green light at the Town Council meeting.
A development fee for newly created parcels for sale, the Quimby Fee has been raised from $1,009 to $2,623.
Town Council voted 4 to 1 to raise the fee after Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District reduced its original estimate of a raise to $3,319.
“I am pleased to see the numbers come down,” said councilman Josh Susman.
Only Drake opposed the fee increase.
“Everyone appreciates (TDPRD) lowering the cost … (but) I’m going to be a conservative and vote no,” he said.
The Quimby fee is charged “in lieu” of donating land for public parks.
Drake added that Placer County needs to build a park as new homes get developed in nearby Martis Valley. It is not Truckee’s duty to build the parks for Placer County residents, he said.
On the public works front, Town Council awarded Ladd and Associates $425,857 for the Glenshire Drive widening and guardrail project. Ladd is the same company working on the 267 bypass.
“They may want to dovetail work on the bypass with the guardrail project,” said Dan Wilkins, town engineer. “That is something I need to discuss with them. The timing and scheduling could be affected.”
Construction will begin in May and early June.
Wilkins said the bid is average size for public works contracts, but that it is fairly substantial for a safety project.
Funding for the project will arrive from federal safety grant programs, the town’s impact fee program and Measure A asset sales tax.
In business that did not take place, the Gateway Corners development application was placed on hold last week.
Town Council scheduled a public hearing over the development, but because the application is on hold, no discussion occurred.
The developers, Wall Street Properties from La Jolla, Calif., could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
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