Growth takes center stage: a year in Truckee’s development |

Growth takes center stage: a year in Truckee’s development

However, looking back, 2003 stands out as an exceptional year in the growth of the town. It ends with a flurry of overwhelmingly important activity that will carry over into 2004, and affect some of the most dramatic changes that Truckee has seen.

Within Truckee, Gray’s Crossing – the town’s largest development since incorporating – is at the verge of a decision point, with consideration by the Truckee Town Council scheduled for Jan. 7. The proposal, which has incited both avid supporters and detractors, plans 725 housing units, a lodge and a village complex for the area off state Route 89, north of Interstate 80.

The Martis Valley Community Plan has polarized agencies and residents, and attracted statewide attention. It was approved by the Placer County Supervisors on Dec. 16, and allows for up to 6,300 new homes in and around the Martis Valley south of Truckee. Environmental groups, three of which are preparing litigation to force a more environmentally sensitive alternative, have blasted the plan. Town officials have worried out loud over the infrastructure demands elements of the development would impose on Truckee. Contractors and developers have praised the community plan, emphasized their environmental records, and pointed to the inevitability of expansion.

While opponents of the community plan insist that the development detailed is too extensive, supporters continually emphasize the long-term nature of the plan – it sets out guidelines for the next 20 years. And the debate rages on into the New Year, with the community plan headed to the courts to face litigation from a trio of environmental groups.

However, not all of 2003’s development was so controversial. The McManus project, which plans to reconstruct the rundown motel on Jibboom Street into a restaurant and add three commercial retail and office buildings alongside, was approved by the town council, the final proposal drawing little controversy.

The Winter Creek project, a development of 167 housing units near Sierra Meadows off of Brockway Road, was another approved development that generated little debate.

In 2004, the Tahoe Boca proposal – already a hot topic in 2003 – can be counted on to generate strong public opinion, as Glenshire residents continue to criticize and analyze the plan that proposes a 250-home subdivision on the edge of their subdivision.

Perhaps slipping under the radar as other controversial topics grab the spotlight, but of unequaled long-term importance, are the ongoing General Plan Update meetings and workshops. The town is gathering public input as it prepares to craft the updated 2025 Truckee General Plan, the guiding document for the physical development of the town. All development proposals are reviewed for their consistency with the General Plan. It is in essence the document that lays out how citizens and town officials want Truckee to look and what they want it to be in the next 15 to 20 years.

The next workshop is scheduled for Jan. 15 at 6 p.m. It will focus on land-use alternatives, including location of housing projects and roadways. 2003 saw the first phase of the update completed, and these ongoing workshops are setting up the adoption of the updated plan, projected for December 2004.

So Truckee is changing, and the debates over how, how much, when and where are still being examined and answered by Truckee residents and town officials. One thing can be counted on, 2004 will bring more changes and Truckee residents will continue giving input on how they want their town to develop.

For more in-depth information on 2003’s development issues, check out the archives at

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