Opinion: Make your voice heard with Canyon Springs project | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Make your voice heard with Canyon Springs project

Karen LaFarge-Unrein
Special to the Sun

After waiting 30 years, when this proposed project was known as Tahoe Boca Estates, and recently since 2008, now known as Canyon Springs, the deciding fate of this development will be in hands of the Truckee Planning Commission on November 16-17.

If you are unable to be at this meeting to give your 3-minute speech, your other option is to write a letter with your concerns and send it BEFORE (at least 24 hours or sooner) the hearing date. Letters will be included in a packet to the Planning Commission for review with staff report.

You can email letters to Denyelle Nishimori, Town of Truckee Senior Planner, Attn: Canyon Springs, to dnishimori@townoftruckee.com, or mail it to her at: 10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee, CA, 96161. Fax number is Attn: Denyelle 530-582-7899. Her office line is 530-582-2934.

Yes, two days of hearings to decide on approval. Because of the volume of public comment and magnitude of the Revised Final Environmental Report, there may be a third hearing date.

Two access locations for this project is Martis Peak Road and Edinburgh Drive in Glenshire. Concerned area resident's requested a "Fire Gate" at Edinburgh Drive cul-de-sac in hopes of curbing the expected 1,000-plus vehicles on local streets.

However, even though this gate is "proposed" in the plans, there is strong supportive evidence (by local agencies) that a fire gate is not possible. An interesting note is that access through Edinburgh Drive resulting in additional impacts was not considered in the Draft Environmental Report. Furthermore, Edinburgh Drive would exceed its intended capacity if a" no gate" decision is made. According to the planning department, to initiate building the infrastructure for this project, it requires building a road from Martis Peak Road to Edinburgh Drive, and four, two-lane-wide bridges over wetlands. Once that is in place, than houses can be started.

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This project (changes have been numerous) proposes 185 residential lots, and 26 affordable housing units. However, each lot has the potential for an additional unit, increasing potential capacity to 396 total homes. According to the town of Truckee's city clerk records March 5, 2013, t"he project fails to analyze cumulative impacts with foreseeable development of Raley property to the East."

In addition, the Glenshire subdivision is not built out, and there are currently more than 350 undeveloped acres for sale in this area that do not include 283 acres for Canyon Springs.

Currently, according the town of Truckee, there are 5,000-6,000 vehicles per day on Glenshire Drive, and most people do not use I-80 West to go to Truckee. There are no plans for improvements to Edinburgh Drive made known until project approval, per the town.

My inquiring call to a Truckee Sanitation District manager entailed the following information. In 1986, when sewers went in to the Glenshire area, DUEs (dwelling unit equivalent) were bought by landowners to provide sewer access to Canyon Springs, Cambridge Estates (5 phases) and to serve adjoining Raley property.

Letters dated Feb. 27, 2006, and March 7, 2007, to the Truckee Sanitary District can be viewed online, pertaining to methods of acquisition for sewer easements. TSD will not be presented with plans by landowners for easements until after final approval. This obviously was the stepping stone for future development.

"Land use changes including subdivisions in area have removed thousands of acres of high quality habitat from deer production therefore altering deer movement patterns and habitat utilization," according to a section in the Draft Environmental Impact Report 2004. This needs inclusion in the revised 2014 Environmental Impact Report. Many wildlife photos showing deer using this corridor looking to the east on the edge of my property at Edinburgh Drive that borders Canyon Springs clearly indicates the need for support for Edinburgh as a gate.

Photos have been taken since 2011 to current, showing an increase of mule deer (also with radio collar and numbered ear tags), and most recently, perhaps never -before photographed fawns seen in this area.

There is an abundance of other species of wildlife that have also been numbered and documented. In conclusion, there isn't any open space left within the town of Truckee, other than this site.

Karen LaFarge-Unrein is a Truckee resident, living in the Glenshire subdivision.