Town of Truckee works to revise Gray’s Crossing plan
A new specific plan for the Gray’s Crossing site is still up in the air as the Truckee Planning Commission denied staff revisions to the plan.
The project is based around the 18-hole Gray’s Crossing golf course with four parcels that are currently undeveloped. Staff revisions suggested an increase in housing units from 725 to 765 units and a 43 percent decrease in commercial space from the original plan. While it would provide more housing units it would require the density to be increased on the properties which may not be feasible, according to commissioners.
“I can’t get behind the density on parcel D,” said Commissioner Dave Gove, referring to one of the site’s parcels. He added that there is no existing plan on how increasing the density in that area will work. In addition, he said the increase in density could potentially decrease property values.
“These are some of the last local housing parcels and I want to make the most of that,” said Commissioner Nikki Riley. “I don’t know if we’re tackling the problem as we had intended with the last general plan.”
A specific plan and development agreement was adopted by the town in 2004. A majority of the benefits of the original development agreement including trail construction and transit have been completed. The only thing left in the plan is to fulfill the town’s affordable housing requirements. These units will have to be built on the remaining four parcels of the site. According to a staff report it is unclear how to coordinate an effort to complete these units as the parcels all have separate owners.
When the development agreement was approved in 2004 only one single developer, East and West Partners, was overseeing the project. That company has since gone bankrupt with multiple other developers taking over parts of the property.
“There wasn’t a lot of clarity built into the plan to identify what would happen if the master developer went away,” said Dahn.
The agreement will expire on March 20 prompting immediate action from the town as they are unable to extend it, according to Truckee Town Attorney Andrew Morris. At a November Council meeting the council agreed to begin work to determine how the site can best meet community housing goals.
“I do feel concerned about the feeling of being rushed because it’s expiring,” said Commissioner Suzie Tarnay. “I do think some of the discussions are General Plan level discussions.”
According to Denyelle Nishimor, Community Development Director for the Town of Truckee, a challenge the staff faced was that the property owners were not involved in the plan.
“I know it seems like we’re waited until the last minute to bring this to you,” said Nishimori. “Had we had a property owner who was still involved it would’ve been a different discussion.”
With the commission’s denial of the staff proposals, the Town Council will hear the issue again.
Hannah Jones is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at 530-550-2652 or firstname.lastname@example.org.