McIver Hill plans presented | SierraSun.com

McIver Hill plans presented

Erich Sommer, Sierra Sun

In hopes of garnering public input on a project that would require the first developer-driven amendment to the town’s general plan, the first of two public workshops on McIver Hill was held Tuesday night at Town Hall.

The sparsely attended forum was facilitated by Town Planner Duane Hall and project planner/designer John Anderson of Anderson Lamb Associates of Chico.

As proposed, the development will include between 130,000 to 223,000 square feet of office and retail space along with 362 to 736 residential units, a hotel and spa.

Those plans far exceed what was designated for the area by Truckee’s General Plan, which allows for 50 housing units and 87,000 square feet of commercial/institutional uses.

“The general plan assumed much less intensity of development,” said Town Planner Duane Hall. Hall said town staff and the public must consider whether the development “would make Truckee better, or just bigger?”

Located south of Interstate 80 and north of West River Street, McIver Hill is bordered by Highway 89 on the west and the roundabout on the east.

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In addition to the discrepancy between what is proposed and what is allowed under the general plan, Hall said other concerns include eastern access to the development and its high visibility.

Eastern access would occur via a new leg off the roundabout and an overcrossing above McIver Crossing, which Anderson called “a very detailed piece of design work.”

Western access off Highway 89 would be opposite the Shell gas station.

Identified as a “special study area” in the general plan, the project will require a specific plan, allowing for “more intensive planning of the town’s important development areas” by showing the proposed distribution, location and extent of land uses, infrastructure and design guidelines by which the development will proceed.

In defense of the proposed size of the development, Tom Parilo, a member of the development team, said that as a town grows, parts of its general plan may “break down…and can segregate uses.”

Parilo said the project accomplishes the mixed-use, in fill type development the general plan encourages.

Two scenarios have been proposed for the development, with varying amounts of office and residential space. The first assumes the presence of a Sierra Junior College satellite campus and the need for up to 184,400 square feet of office space.

Sierra College President Kevin Ramirez told the audience the college district’s board of directors approved pursuing negotiations for a permanent site in the McIver Hill development.

“This is an important project for Sierra College,” Ramirez said. “We believe we need a central location to aggregate our services S and this site makes the most sense.”

The second proposal includes less office and retail space and replaces it with up to 736 residential units in the form of single and multi-family dwellings, townhouses and lofts.

Both plans include a 200-room hotel, a spa and health club with 50 rooms and an additional 38,900 square feet of office and retail space.

Public comments and refinements to the project that come out of the workshops will be considered by a joint session of the town’s planning commission and Town Council on Nov. 29.

A site tour open to the public will take place on Saturday at 1 p.m., with a second workshop on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m. at Town Hall.

For more information contact Duane Hall at 587-7820.