Hilltop wins approval from Truckee Planning Commission again | SierraSun.com

Hilltop wins approval from Truckee Planning Commission again

Greyson HowardSierra Sun

Truckees Planning Commission once again gave the go ahead to the proposed Hilltop development Wednesday night.While the commission had already approved the plan last December, substantive changes meant the project had to go back to the body again before a final decision is made by The Truckee Town Council.In addition to assuring a historic ski hill on the property would be preserved, providing a path for the Truckee River Legacy Trail and conducting an economic study, 11th hour changes agreed upon by the developers and a local environmental group were added for consideration.We met with representatives from MAPF [Mountain Area Preservation Foundation] to lock in new numbers, said Dale Creighton of SCO Planning andamp; Engineering at the meeting.The discussion brought commercial space down from 75,400 square feet to about 52,000 square feet, assuaging concerns by the foundation that felt the commercial space was too large and would generate too much traffic.If all the conditions we discussed are met then we can endorse the new master plan and mitigated negative declaration [the environmental review for the project], said John Eaton, president of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation.The agreement is still tentative, but Eaton said he felt confident that it could be worked out before the town council makes a final decision.But some neighbors still had reservations about the project, despite the preservation foundations position.In December the public expressed a great deal of concern to the planning commission, and you pretty much ignored that, said Andrew Esler, a neighbor of the project.Esler and other neighbors wanted to find out what the last-minute changes would do to traffic before the planning commissioners made their decision.While the town didnt have time to adjust traffic projections with the reduction in commercial space, Gordon Shaw, with LSC Transportation Consultants, said it could reduce traffic.He explained that one of the issues that drew the most criticism potentially expanding Brockway Road to four lanes near the project could be avoided as individual projects out of the Hilltop apply for development.Four lanes is only one way to fix things. You could also reduce density, Shaw said.In the end, the three planning commissioners at the meeting voted unanimously to recommend the project to the town council.