MAPF begins sign-ups; Initiative drive to amend Truckee General Plan needs 1,000 signatures by May 30
The Mountain Area Preservation Foundation will begin circulating its initiative to amend the town’s general plan tomorrow.
MAPF President Stefanie Olivieri said the group needed to publish a legal notice in the Sierra Sun before the initiative could be taken door-to-door. Initiative proponents will have until May 30 to collect more than 1,000 signatures required to place the amendment on the November ballot, she said.
The initiative targets land uses approved under the general plan for Planned Community 2, a 789-acre development area located north of the Highway 89-Interstate 80 intersection.
Boca Sierra Estates proposal
Developers have planned, but not submitted to town planners, a mixed use project on PC-2 called Boca Sierra Estates. The project summary provides for 368 acres of open space, 329 acres of clustered residential housing, 50 acres for commercial and office space, 22 acres for lodging and recreational uses and earmarks 20 acres for public use.
MAPF’s initiative originally proposed reducing potential commercial space square footage at PC-2 from 175,000 to 15,000 and eliminating the site’s potential for a resort hotel and recreation facility. In addition, future amendments to the general plan regarding
PC-2 would require a majority vote of the public.
Also required under the initiative is a majority public vote to change any resource conservation-open space land designations to another land use or to add land uses not listed. The public vote requirement would end Dec. 31, 2020.
Members of MAPF, the Town of Truckee and representatives from Boca Sierra Estates met two weeks ago and tried to negotiate an acceptable solution without having to amend the general plan. After meeting for more than eight hours, the three sides were unable to come to a resolution, and no future meetings have been scheduled.
Olivieri said since the meeting, however, MAPF has changed the initiative in order to facilitate concerns of the town. Specifically, allowing movement of land use boundary lines, giving the town the ability to relocate the state agricultural inspection station to open space/recreational land use designations at PC-2 and bringing the commercial space square footage to 25,000 instead of 15,000.
“After our joint meeting we met with Steve (Wright) and Tony (Lashbrook), and our attorney drafted some things in the initiative, which involved moving land use boundaries lines, facilitating the town’s concerns about moving the agricultural inspection station and we added 10,000 square feet as commercial,” she said. “MAPF, in the spirit of cooperation, wants to facilitate the town’s concerns in those areas.”
Lashbrook is Truckee’s community development director and Wright is town manager.
MAPF and Boca Sierra Estates developers have outlined their respective sides in advertisements appearing in today’s Sierra Sun.
In supporting the initiative, MAPF members and other proponents say they are trying to preserve Truckee’s small town character and create developments complimentary to the area.
“We think a commercial development of this size is too large for Truckee right now. The commercial development allocated for PC-2 would irreversibly change the small town character and charm of Truckee as we know it today,” the pro-initiative advertisement reads. “There is no question that Truckee will grow, but we need growth that benefits the character of the community.”
Developers contend there are two sides to every story and Boca Sierra Estates is not commercial sprawl or a mega-mall.
“The purpose of this letter is to simply ask that you keep an open mind and wait to hear all the facts before forming an opinion on the initiative,” said Brian Mullins on behalf of the Hopkins family, the property owners. “Our proposal, once submitted, will undergo a year of intense environmental review and public scrutiny. The process is in place for your voice, your opinion to be heard at town hall.”
Initiative proponents will begin collecting the required 1,079 signatures of registered voters May 16. Olivieri said circulators can register people to vote if they decide to sign the initiative.
“I think we are definitely going to be able to qualify this for the ballot,” Olivieri said.
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