Residential rezoning stirs emotions
The Town of Truckee will consider changing residential zoning along Pineland Road near Sierra Meadows on Aug. 31, which has angered some residents.
“When we purchased our property we entrusted that we were going to keep our living situation the same,” said Therese Murray, a resident on Pineland Road. “Our lifestyle is in danger.”
The Planning Commission is recommending that Town Council change roughly 40 acres of Rural Residential (RR) zone along Pineland Road to a Residential Multi-family zone, which allows up to 10 living units per acre (RM-10). The new, multi-family zone allows for condominiums, apartments and affordable housing complexes and prohibits livestock uses.
“These are two different lifestyles: we have barns and horses, and we don’t see this as compatible with condominiums and apartments,” Murray said.
Ken Ideker, who lives near Pineland Road, recognizes that housing is a major issue in Truckee, but objects to putting all the multi-family housing and apartment complexes in the same area.
“All the RM-10 and RM-15 properties are being shoved in this little area… there are none in Glenshire and none in Prosser,” he said.
“Higher-density housing goes near main roads for transportation, shopping and access to schools. If it’s closer to the highway it tends to be more accessible,” said Ruth Frishman, a proponent of affordable housing and former law teacher of 25 years.
Town Planner Duane Hall said that public comment on the issue has been divided.
“Notices were sent out 10 days before the planning commission hearing on Aug. 8… There were five residents who expressed opposition to the plan,” Hall said.
The commission’s recommendation to rezone the area will go to Town Council Aug. 31, at which time the town will allow further public input before taking action.
Hall added that residents who oppose the rezoning can maintain their existing zoning agreement for their property. In that case, only the surrounding areas will be changed.
“We had five residents who expressed interest in keeping the zoning designation the same. Most of those individuals owned horses, or planned to own them in the future,” he said.
Tom Ballou, General Manager of Truckee Pines, the only current affordable housing complex in Truckee, said that when Truckee Pines was first proposed there was a lot of opposition from homeowners along Martis Road.
“Neighboring residents thought we would have a ghetto, or ethnic imbalance, and they conjured up all these ideas… But I keep this place very clean. I think it is an asset to the community,” he said. “It’s easier for me to go to my tenants and tell them to clean up their porch or their cars than to go to a neighbor and tell him to clean up his yard.”
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