Placer County to review Siller Ranch development
The ongoing disagreement on how many employee housing units should be included in a 726- home, golf course development in Martis Valley, could be decided next week. While Siller Ranch is almost surely headed to the courts after approval, Tuesday’s decision will show whether Placer County will take care of employee housing concerns that have riled the Town of Truckee and the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe (WHATT).The project is being heard by the Placer County Board of Supervisors under an appeal by the Town of Truckee and Sierra Watch. On Oct. 5, the supervisors denied the two appeals but decided to revisit the employee housing numbers and several details on trails associated with the project.Placer County staff has come back with a recommendation to include housing for 124 employees, a calculation that indicates Placer County believes the project will attract 248 employees. The county has required that projects in the Martis Valley area house half of the employees they attract.Those numbers are severe underestimations, according to the Town of Truckee and WHATT. WHATT points out that even the county’s draft housing ordinance indicates the development will create 555 full time jobs, and the town estimates that number could be even as high as 600. That would create the need for the development to house at least 277 employees. The county’s low projection is justified, according to developers DMB Highland Group, because the homes will only be inhabited 10 percent of the time on average. But Rachelle Pellissier, executive director for WHATT, said that assumption is not backed up by research, and does not take into account whether those homes will be inhabited full time in the future.”Whether they are here all the time or not, those 726 units have a huge impact on our community,” said Pellissier.The Siller Ranch proposal will likely face a lawsuit from a coalition of environmental groups headed by Nevada City-based Sierra Watch. The groups point to broad-reaching concerns over the impacts and methods of development.Check it outThe Siller Ranch meeting Placer County Board of Supervisors Chambers175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn. The meeting, including other items, is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. For more information on when the Siller Ranch item will be discussed visit the county Web site at http://www.placer.ca.gov/bos/agendas-summaries.htm
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