Hilltop up for decision again | SierraSun.com

Hilltop up for decision again

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Plans for Truckee’s Hilltop project are coming back to the town council again tonight.

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.

At a July meeting, the council asked for further refinement and clarification on the project’s master plan, ranging over topics from the Ponderosa Drive-Palisades Drive intersection to house size, said Town Planner Duane Hall.

Project neighbors have expressed concern over the now L-shaped intersection at Ponderosa and Palisades becoming a three-way intersection, so Hall said an alternative option of making that intersection for emergency use only will be included in the plan.

“The decision of whether or not it’s connected or an emergency exit only will be done when the second phase of the development comes up for review,” Hall said.

Town staff also reflected strong sentiments from council against turning Brockway Road into four lanes, Hall said.

Council member Richard Anderson had expressed a desire to limit building size on some of the project’s small lots to keep homes affordable, so the revised plan also proposes a 2,000 square-foot limit on houses in that area, Hall said.

Despite the recent revisions, project neighbor Andrew Esler wanted to see more thorough environmental and traffic analysis.

“It sounds like they aren’t making a decision on Ponderosa/Palisades until development is proposed. What does the town intend to do with that dangerous intersection until then?” Esler asked.

The Truckee Donner Public Utility District responded to a request from Council Member Josh Susman for a “will serve” letter, but pointed out the project would have a greater water need than previous zoning.

“Although the District’s current analysis shows that there is sufficient water in the 2005 Urban Water Management Plan to support this project, the estimated water demand for the proposed development exceeds the amount assumed [in public utility district plans] by about 100 acre-feet per year,” wrote District General Manager Michael Holley.