One Taco Bell, coming right up |

One Taco Bell, coming right up

A rendering of the proposed Taco Bell on west Deerfield Drive.

The Truckee Planning Commission on Wednesday approved plans for a Taco Bell drive-thru restaurant near Donner Memorial State Park, but will take another look at the signs and lighting proposed for the building at a future meeting.The fast food eatery is planned for the space occupied by The Beginnings Restaurant on western Deerfield Drive, and would be one of only three drive-thru restaurants in Truckee. The Beginnings would be demolished to build the Taco Bell.The commission voted 41 to approve the project, with chairwoman Nancy Richards voting to delay a decision on the whole project until the sign and lighting concerns were resolved. The applicants proposed internally illuminated signs on three sides of the building. Such signs are strongly discouraged by the town’s development code, and all signs must be along a road frontage.The commission praised the applicant for the design of the restaurant, which they said was architecturally superior to normal fast food layouts. They also discussed ways that the restaurant could attract customers without an internally illuminated sign. A monument sign, a square sign up to 10-feet high without a pole, or a sign lit from the front are both options for the building. An off-property directional sign leading customers to the business is also allowed by the town, and suggested by the commission.

Donner Lake development deniedIn other planning commission action, the panel denied a request to approve a 25-unit townhome development on the west end of Donner Lake, leading the applicant to withdraw his application and work to revise his plans.The three commissioner that voted against the proposal said parking, snow storage and steep slopes were the issues that sunk the proposal. One of the eight buildings, which proposed three, one-bedroom, affordable units, was located on slopes of 20 percent and greater.

“To pick 30 percent slopes just flies in the face of good planning,” said Commissioner Nancy Richards. “I don’t see the community benefit in putting these three, really tiny units on steep slopes.”Other commissioners liked parts of the proposal, but thought that the site was too crowded.”I think this is a great location for what they want to do, I just think that they are trying to do too much,” said Commissioner Bob Jensen.He said that the affordable housing did not compensate for the other aspects of the project that he felt were deficient.

“I think that what we see here is a subdivision that is stretching all of the limits, and they are trying to pacify us with three affordable units,” said Jensen.Robie Litchfield voted with Richards and Jensen against approving the project. Paul Leyton and Nikki Riley voted for the proposal, noting that the three affordable units were an important community benefit. “Overall I think that there are benefits that outweigh the detriments,” said Riley.The applicant said that he will likely remove the building located on the steep slopes and resubmit the application with two of the other units being changed to affordable prices.

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