Martis Valley eyed for new workforce housing |

Martis Valley eyed for new workforce housing

Kelsie Longerbeam
A view of Martis Valley near the proposed project, which plans to preserve thousands of acres of open space while developing about 85 acres within the Tahoe Basin.
Margaret Moran / Sierra Sun |

It’s no secret that the lack of workforce housing in North Lake Tahoe is an issue, so the Placer County Board of Supervisors decided to support a grant application to fund the Schaffer’s Mill workforce housing project in local Martis Valley.

This proposed Schaffer’s Mill workforce housing project would consist of a 56-unit apartment housing complex in the Schaffer’s Mill subdivision.

“This really affirms Placer County’s commitment to pushing these workforce housing projects forward,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery.

The board’s approval will allow the county to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the project’s developer, Neighborhood Partners LLC, which is asking for a $16.6 million grant fund from the state of California Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program.

This program’s purpose is to help fund projects that support affordable housing and infrastructure programs that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, two main concerns of the Lake Tahoe community.

Under the new agreement, the county will use $3.5 million of the funding to invest in four electric-powered buses to help expand transit services for Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transit (TTART) routes, including the necessary electric vehicle charging stations and maintenance infrastructure. The idea is to increase connectivity in the Maris Valley community.

The proposed affordable housing project includes 14 one-bedroom units, 28 two-bedroom units and 14 three- bedroom units. It would also include a community building with a meeting room, staff offices, computer area, restrooms, outdoor patio, and a small playground for young children.

Additionally, the buildings would have rooftop solar panels to achieve zero-net-energy usage, to help fulfill the projects commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

People can also expec to see other mobility improvements along with the project. A total of $726,000 will be dedicated to build a portion of the Martis Valley multi-purpose trail, a multi-use recreational trail crossing through federal property at the Martis Creek Lake and Dam Project. The approved right-of-way will allow for a proposed 10-foot-wide paved trail with 2-foot-wide unpaved shoulders on each side parallel to State Route 267. The approved alignment will maintain ample safe space between vehicles and trail users.

Another $1.5 million has been allotted for transit and pedestrian facilities in Truckee, which was approved by the town council at the last town meeting on Jan. 11. Montgomery noted that the project site promises more “walkability” with a new grocery store and other facilities planned in nearby Truckee

Truckee council member Morgan Goodwin agreed, noting that: “The Truckee Railyard is incredibly important for our town, putting affordable housing, groceries, movies, and civic space downtown. This will make our downtown even more vibrant, reduce vehicle miles traveled both for shopping and for local residents going to work.”

Kelsie Longerbeam is the news, business and environment reporter for the Sierra Sun and North Lake Tahoe Bonanza. She can be contacted at or 530-550-2653. Follow her on Facebook, and Twitter and Instagram @kelsielongerbm.

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