Housing and sustainability to be main focus of Truckee’s General Plan update
With the town moving further into the 2040 General Plan update process, town staff along with the General Planning Advisory Committee have decided to focus all their energy on two elements over the next nine months.
“The focus would be on housing, particularly achievable housing and climate change,” said Town Manager Jeff Joux. The Truckee Town Council has repeatedly indicated those are two of its highest priorities.
Focusing all the attention on these two elements would mean less attention given to other elements, including circulation and transportation and land uses aside from housing. However, Council Member Morgan Goodwin said “I think those are issues that inform the rest of the General Plan.”
According to a staff report, the town is engaged in “numerous complex engagement processes” that are primarily focused on long-range planning. While Loux said public engagement is extremely important, the effects of trying to manage multiple processes is taking its toll on staff and community members.
“The solution we came up with was this focusing strategy,” said Loux. “We think this makes a lot of sense. We think it gives staff a bit more breathing room to take on these extra activities.”
Loux said the General Planning Advisory Committee, created to facilitate the public engagement process, has asked for more time and more resources for those two items.
“They were very supportive for this idea of focusing their energies for the next nine months,” he said.
‘HOUSE TRUCKEE FIRST’
At the committee’s May 14 meeting they decided to begin work on the House Truckee First strategy which looks to rezone potential housing sites. While staff was supportive of the initiative, Loux said it would also add another complex community process.
In addition, the town was just awarded a $250,000 grant from Caltrans to do more work on an urban design for Donner Pass Road. To handle all of the work needed for these projects, Loux said staff believes a focusing strategy was warranted.
In January, the town launched Truckee2040.com, an interactive website designed to generate community involvement in the update. The website contains all things related to the General Plan Update, the Downtown Specific Plan Update and the climate action planning associated with that project.
If community members wish to learn more about the plan, the site offers an overview page with background of all the elements involved in the update as well as constant tracking of where the town is at in the process. Loux said work on the website will continue as well as other community engagement events this summer such as pop-up activities at Truckee Thursdays to get informal feedback on the General Plan.
The town expects to have the final documents of the General Plan completed by winter of 2020 or early 2021.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at email@example.com or 530-550-2652.