Time to get involved is now | SierraSun.com

Time to get involved is now

SIERRA SUN editorial

If there is one thing the past year in Truckee politics should have taught us, it’s that activism has its virtues, but activists need to learn how to get involved earlier.

Old Greenwood, East West Partners’ project on the northeast end of town, was thrown into the local limelight last year during the approval process. Opponents of the development (as proposed by the company) said the nearly 300 residential dwellings and a golf course that are part of the subdivision is too much for an already crowded Truckee to handle, not to mention Truckee’s environment.

The problem: A lot of opponents of development come to the table late and objected, in essence, to a plan developed through long-term negotiation.

As East West moves forward with Gray’s Crossing, another large-scale golf course community, the objectors are sure to come in late again. They always do.

The latest incarnation of Truckee’s General Plan, a vision to the year 2025, is gaining steam, and town officials want to have it hammered out in the next year.

Message to interested subjects: Get involved now.

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This general plan will be used to guide zoning and building standards, as well as develop traffic control and infrastructure for future growth.

If you don’t like golf courses, get involved. Say “No more golf courses.” If you think we need major roads in place before future residential expansions, be heard. “Roads first, please.” What about trails, and sewer systems and water consumption? It’s all happening now.

It’s that easy. If you don’t talk, they can’t listen, and five or 10 years down the road, they really won’t listen. By then it will be too late.

Here’s an interesting nugget of information from Truckee’s general plan Web site, http://www.truckee2025.org:

Population

The Town of Truckee has grown from a 1980 population of 5,539 to a current estimated population of 15,150. The average annual growth rate for the past 20 years has been 4.7 percent, and Truckee is now adding approximately 600 permanent residents per year. Truckee grows at a rate at least three times faster than California as a whole and has been more insulated from economic slowdowns than the rest of the state.

The General Plan assumed an annual growth rate of only 2.0 percent, and for the past seven years, Truckee has grown twice as fast as estimated by the General Plan. The General Plan estimated that Truckee’s population in 2015 would only be 17,250. However, if Truckee continues to grow at a rate of 4 percent per year, our population in 2015 will be 25,700.

Think about the Truckee you want to see in two decades, and get involved in the general plan.