Hilltop project goes to final public hearing
July 15, 2008
Wednesday July 16 could be the last public meeting on Truckee’s Hilltop development before going back to town council for decision in August.
Proposed for 57 acres near the Cottonwood Restaurant overlooking downtown, the project has undergone a number of changes over the last few months to preserve the historic ski hill and reduce commercial development.
Most recently commercial and office floor space was reduced from 75,400 to 52,265 square feet as part of discussions between the developers and the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation.
“We’re more happy than not with Hilltop,” said John Eaton, president of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation. “Just about every concern got into the plan.”
A major reason for both the foundation and others wanting a reduction in commercial development is traffic, and the potential requirement for Brockway Road to become four lanes.
“I think four lanes is now much less likely,” Eaton said. “But a reduction just here is probably not enough.”
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Eaton said he had hoped that the developers would have signed an agreement on the new terms, and would have liked to have seen the historic ski hill preserved with an easement.
Project Neighbor Andrew Esler still isn’t satisfied with the size of the project, however.
“The development as a whole is still too big,” Esler said. “I don’t think the town has considered all the development around it.”
The environmental documents won’t be revised to reflect the smaller numbers, said Jaime LaChance, assistant planner for the town, because the document allows for changes as long as they reduce impacts.
At tonight’s special meeting dedicated to Hilltop, the Truckee Town Council will consider the environmental document, called a mitigated negative declaration, amending the downtown specific plan, and take public comment before deferring a final decision on the project until Aug. 7, LaChance said.
“Council can’t adopt an ordinance because it’s a special meeting, but we wanted a special meeting to give Hilltop full attention,” LaChance said. “We want people to come out and be involved ” let their voice be heard in front of town council.”
While tonight’s meeting could be the last public hearing for the Hilltop Master Plan, LaChance emphasized that each individual development will have to come back for approval even after the master plan is approved.