NV County supes approve Truckee park impact fee hike, recognize local Chinese history

The Chinese Herb shop is located in lower left corner, at the intersection of the bridge and Truckee River.
Provided/Truckee-Donner Historical Society

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Nevada County Supervisors on Tuesday voted to approve an increase in park impact fees for new development in Truckee. 

The purpose of the park impact fee is to fund the cost of new or expanded parks and recreational facilities. New single-family developments will increase from $1.99 per square foot to $2.21. Multi-family developments will increase to $3.57 per square foot from $2.85. Accessory dwelling units below 750 square feet will continue to have no fees but above 750 square feet the fees will increase from $1.99 per square foot to $2.21.

These fees haven’t been increased since 2019 and some of the supervisors were concerned about the size of the increase. However, Sven Leff, recreation superintendent for Truckee Donner Parks and Recreation District, said he’d like to review the fees more often going forward to avoid big increases. 

Supervisor Susan Hoek was concerned that no one from Truckee provided comment on the item and ultimately decided to abstain from the vote. 

Supervisor Lisa Swarthout said something she’s noticed about Truckee residents is, “they are willing to pay for the things they value,” which includes recreation. 

The board approved the increase 4-0. Truckee Town Council will be hearing the item in August. 

The board also approved the designation of Truckee’s Two Chinatowns as the county’s latest historical landmark. The item was approved during the consent agenda so no discussion was held on the topic. 

A plaque will be mounted on the site of the Old Truckee Jail Museum, located within the boundaries of Truckee’s historical Chinatowns. According to the staff report, between 1867 to 1886, there were two Chinatowns in the, then, unincorporated Town of Truckee.

Chinatown was located on the northside of the Central Pacific Railroad tracks of Truckee, before much of it was destroyed by several fires over time. The town then established a committee led by Town Site Agent D. H. Haskell, who ultimately recommended the relocation of the China Town to its second location south of the railroad tracks and across the Truckee river. 

In a press release, the Nevada County Historical Landmarks Commission said, “This long overdue acknowledgement identifies and honors those many Chinese people, who contributed to Truckee’s viability and sustainability, in the late 19th century. Besides laboring to build the Transcontinental Railroad, they were merchants, cooks, teamsters, domestic servants, gardeners, doctors and launderers.  

“Without such businesses to support the Chinese population and Truckee residents, Truckee may not have survived and thrived,” the press release continued. “The Chinese deserve due honor to be a recognized part in the history of Truckee.”

Installation and Dedication will be May 10, 2024, the 155th anniversary of the building of the transcontinental railroad.

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