Amid concerns, Canyon Springs EIR consultant gets more money | SierraSun.com

Amid concerns, Canyon Springs EIR consultant gets more money

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

TRUCKEE, Calif. — Work to complete the final Environmental Impact Report on the controversial Canyon Springs project will continue.

On Monday, Truckee Town Council unanimously approved more money for the development's EIR consultant, The Planning Center / DC&E, to finish the report, despite criticism of the company's work to date.

"Sadly, the consultants that were hired to analyze (Canyon Springs') environmental impacts have done a pretty poor job in our opinion, and they shouldn't be funded to fix their errors," said Alexis Ollar, executive director of Mountain Area Preservation, a Truckee-based conservation group critical of the project.

According to the town, the approved maximum $114,080 contract amendment will allow the Southern California-based company to fully respond to 77 draft EIR comments, prepare the final EIR and attend meetings.

Optional in that price is recirculating the report's sections on biological resources, specifically on the Loyalton-Truckee deer herd and transportation/traffic.

"Recirculation is triggered by whether or not there's been substantial new evidence that's been submitted after the close of the public comment period for the draft EIR," explained Denyelle Nishimori, senior planner for the town.

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Several of the roughly 35 attendees at Monday's meeting called for additional sections to be recirculated due to perceived inadequacies.

"Do I think $114,000 is going to adequately address this issue?" posed Nikki Riley, a Glenshire resident and president of the MAP board of director. "No, I don't. I think it's probably going to take a lot more time and a lot more money."

Canyon Springs is funding the EIR process. With Monday's amendment, total contract cost is not to exceed $437,938.

"We're not through the process yet," said Dale Creighton, a Canyon Springs representative. "We would hope to have a full, legitimate process, and that requires the additional funding."

Upon release of the final EIR — the date of which is unknown — there will be a public review period, followed by a public hearing before the town's planning commission.

If the commission's decision is appealed, the matter would go before town council.

"We owe the process its due process," said council member Alicia Barr. "… To delay it further, I don't think is fair to the process that we, as an established body, have subscribed to.

"And in the end, it's the quality of the EIR and the project that is going to determine if it goes through or not."

More online

— Canyon Springs is a proposed residential subdivision located in eastern Truckee, adjacent to Glenshire. A total of 185 lots — 177 market and 8 affordable lots — are proposed to be built over eight phases on approximately 284 acres, of which 175 will be kept as open space.

— To learn more about the Canyon Springs project, visit http://www.canyonspringsoftruckee.com” target=”_blank”>Bold”>http://www.canyonspringsoftruckee.com and townoftruckee.com” target=”_blank”>Bold”>townoftruckee.com .