Joerger Ranch outline presented to neighbors | SierraSun.com

Joerger Ranch outline presented to neighbors

David Bunker
Sierra Sun
Illustration courtesy of Ward-Young ArchitectsA site map of the latest plans for Joerger Ranch shows the mix of residential, industrial and commercial development planned for the area.
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After nearly eight years of planning, the large residential, commercial and industrial project known as Joerger Ranch is poised two steps away from a decision.

Joerger Ranch planners, who unveiled their proposal to small group of neighbors on Tuesday night, say they plan to file a final application for the 71 acres of land along Highway 267 and Brockway Road within a month. After the final application is submitted, all that will stand between the project and a decision is an environmental impact report and the completion of the town’s new General Plan.

The main features of the development will be a Raley’s grocery store roughly equal in size to Truckee’s Safeway, 288 residential units and numerous industrial businesses and offices. Four shop buildings will sit in the Raley’s shopping center, according to the plans, each with residential lofts on the second story.

From the town’s perspective, the question at Joerger Ranch has never been whether to develop, but how the property should be developed. As one of the Truckee’s Planned Communities, Joerger Ranch is one out of three locations that Truckee decided was suitable for substantial development in their 1995 General Plan.

Now Joerger Ranch is shaping up to be the second Planned Community, behind Gray’s Crossing (Planned Community Two), to go up for town review.

One of the greatest challenges in planning for Joerger Ranch has been developing a cohesive plan while working with a property that is divided into quadrants by Highway 267, Brockway Road and Joerger Drive.

“From a design perspective probably the main challenge is how the property is split by streets and highways,” said Town Planner Duane Hall. “That is probably the main challenge: How do you bring these four parts of the development together?”

The Joerger Ranch owners have tackled this problem by proposing trails and a shuttle bus service to connect the apartments, the retail center and the industrial and office space.

Bordering so many main roads has also challenged planners to screen and scale their plan in a way that it does not stick out next to the highway.

Although the state has not designated Highway 267 a scenic route the town still views it as an important southern gateway to Truckee, said Hall.

One example of shrinking buildings to fit the location is the Raley’s grocery store, which was originally proposed as a 63,000-square-foot building. It is now in the plans as a 40,000-square-foot supermarket. Only one other Raleys has been designed that small in the last 15 years, according to Joerger Ranch planning documents.

“If you are going to develop in Truckee we don’t want what you do everywhere else,” said Hall. “We want it to fit Truckee.”

John Renwick, a member of the Joerger family, agrees that the entire project must conform to the town around it ” a goal he believes the plan has achieved.

“It has to fit within the community,” said Renwick. “It has to fit within itself.”

One of the elements of Joerger Ranch that planners are most proud of is the emphasis on providing services to Truckee’s permanent population. The project’s rental apartments, of which 60 percent are slated to be affordable, will be a major benefit to the year-round residents, planners said.

“Joerger Ranch is the first major project in many years intended to primarily serve our permanent population,” said Larry Young, a planner for the development.

The Joerger family, early ranchers and dairy operators in town, have waited a long time to propose development of the land ” 150 years to be exact.

“We’ve put a lot of work into this,” said John Renwick, whose great great grandfather was a Martis Valley dairyman and rancher. “We’ve not been in a rush with this plan.”