Railyard plan set for next step
October 22, 2006
The Railyard development has been given the go-ahead to enter its next phase ” environmental review.
At Thursday’s Truckee Town Council meeting, the council approved a consultant agreement with LSA Associates to prepare an environmental impact review for the Railyard Master Plan, and authorized the completion of the plan with the assistance of Darin Dinsmore, the Railyard Development team coordinator.
The council agreed on a two-part environmental review that would include a comprehensive analysis of the entire master plan, as well as a specific review of the first phase, known as the theater block.
The theater block will include an 800-seat movie theater totaling 20,000 square feet with street parking, 12 “work/live” lofts totaling 8,400 square feet, 16,200 square feet of retail, and 106 residential lofts and flats, including 16 affordable- to moderate-income households, totaling 95,000 square feet, according to a presentation given by Denyelle Nishimori, associate planner for the Town of Truckee.
Included in the process will be a series of “scoping sessions,” in which the public will be able to work with and learn about the plan, Nishimori said.
Those sessions would include work with the Truckee Planning Commission, the community at large, and any agencies affected by the plan, according the consultant’s proposal.
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Dates have not yet been set for the workshops.
Members of the community had a chance to give suggestions and raise questions about the Railyard at Thursday’s meeting.
Truckee resident Denny Dickinson said he didn’t like the idea of development within the railroad’s balloon track, a circular track that allows snowplow trains to reverse direction.
He suggested a turntable that would reflect a historic turntable that was on Donner Summit in the late 1800s.
Rick Holliday, president of Holliday Development, addressed this idea saying he had tried to work on this with the railroad.
“The problem is they couldn’t turn three to four cars in a roundhouse, but we have talked about a snowplow car that can work in two directions,” Holliday said.
While he hadn’t gotten favorable feedback on the reversible car from Union Pacific Railroad, they were willing to move the balloon track, and may allow the use of the track’s 200 foot right-of-way for public parking and snow storage, he said.
Ben Moule, owner of Truckee River Glass, voiced concerns about the Railyard plan’s effect on the downtown area.
“Why is the town in such a rush to do this when we have such a nice downtown?” asked Moule.
His concern is that the project ” along with the other developments ” will destroy Truckee’s small-town feel.
“They are building a new Truckee that nobody wants except the politicians,” Moule said. “At least that’s how it seems to me.”
Truckee River Glass sits on the Railyard property, so Moule said his concerns are both business-related and personal.
“I just get emotional because I see myself getting booted out and I worked so hard for this business,” he said.