Editorial: All aboard the Railyard
June 18, 2009
Truckee Town Council’s unanimous approval of the Railyard development project Wednesday marked the end of roughly 10 years of public debate, but started a new chapter for 75 blighted acres east of downtown.
The clear majority in attendance espoused a growing awareness of what it will take to keep Truckee a healthy and vibrant town in the face of a turbulent economy and#8212; intelligent, responsible in-fill growth.
If something isn’t done to address the changing economic forces and#8212; sprouting villages at neighboring ski resorts and lake-side communities and#8212; and within and#8212; rising rents and decreasing local interest, Truckee runs the risk of losing its heart: Downtown.
If done correctly, the Railyard could keep downtown, and the rest of the Truckee community along with it, astride of progress and ahead of the competition.
Opponents grasp at historical resources, traffic configurations and environmental nuances. Yet Wednesday’s vote and the long line of speakers who showed their support sent a strong message back to them.
It seems most residents agree we can remember and preserve our history strategically, and still evolve as a town.
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But the work for our town planners and elected officials is not over. Going forward, we encourage the town to seek every possible public benefit from the developers, who will stand to make millions of dollars if all goes well.
Cleaning up Trout Creek should be a given. Improving our inadequate walkways through the current downtown should be another. Other opportunities like deed-restricting at least 10 percent of the units for affordable housing must be considered.
And who doesn’t want a movie theater.
In the meantime, we applaud our community and elected officials for including a high-level of diligence, and a fair amount of scrutiny, before making a very difficult decision.