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Hotel, car wash, gas station to be constructed near airport

Scott Hess

With little public comment and mostly positive feedback from the commission, the Truckee Planning Commission approved a three-story Hampton Inn and Suites hotel, a car wash and a gas station with a deli for development near the airport on Wednesday.

The hotel, a 62,607-square foot, 109-room building on 3.14 acres, will be joined by the “Martis Station,” a single-bay car wash and a gas station with a deli and general store. The project, although relatively large for Truckee, drew little criticism and passed through the commission easily.

The issues that were raised by town staff were snow storage, the sign plan, lighting and the floor area ratio. There were only two people from the public who spoke – one brought up visual impacts of the large hotel and the other commended the detailed design of the gas station.

While the applicants – Pat McCuen, Mark Lowenstern and Truckee 267 Partners – and the planning commission worked out the snow storage and floor area ratio issues, the applicants will have to return to the commission with a new signage and lighting plan.

The problem with the signage plan is that the planning commission did not want large or multiple signs along state Route 267. Several alternatives were proposed, including two signs low to the ground or one larger sign, but with less clutter on the sign.

For the lighting issue, the applicants wanted to have 30-foot lights to illuminate the parking lot, but the planning commission noted the Truckee development code allows a 20-foot maximum.

The reason for this is the cherished “night sky.” With lights higher off the ground, the ambient light could ruin the view of the sky and the stars.

The floor area ratio issue ended up giving a rather large benefit to the Town of Truckee. Instead of the standard 20 percent floor area ratio, the applicants were proposing a 31 percent floor area ratio.

Because they wanted the increase, the planning commission, under direction of town staff, stipulated the applicants would have to build a transit shelter (a bus stop) and pay $100,000 for the extra floor space.

Another issue, brought up by the planning commission, was the issue of drainage. The commission, with the approval, required the drainage to be “underground infiltration trenches,” so water and snowmelt could drain properly.

One of the nice features of the project, Martis Station owner Lowenstern said, it that the deli would have outside seating, which would provide views of Mount Rose.

Another benefit, according to: monetary benefits for Truckee. The project is near the Placer County line, so the projects would get traffic going into and coming out of the Tahoe Basin. Revenue generated from the gas taxes, for example, would go back to the town.

The project is located just north of Truckee Airport Road, on SR-267. There is already a driveway constructed, and ground should be broken by the spring and construction should last approximately 11 months.

While the appeal period is open until Oct. 20, the lack of public input suggests that the project will go ahead as planned. If appealed, the project would be sent to the Truckee Town Council for further review.


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