Subdivision near Glenshire OK’d
January 12, 2006
A 31-lot subdivision near Glenshire was approved on Wednesday night, following a few minor changes by the Truckee Planning Commission.The Sierra Bluff project underwent nearly three and a half hours of exhaustive review by the commission, which tackled everything from the height of fences to window materials and home lighting. In the end, the project, which had been controversial when it was first proposed, was given the green light by the town with few changes.Project developer Tom Grossman explained to the town council how he worked with neighbors around Allenby Way and Tudor Lane to turn a hot-button project into a subdivision that the neighbors did not oppose.
“The process was a compromise. I listened to town staff. I listened to the neighbors,” said Grossman. “This project is an outcome of that.”Originally proposed as a 45-lot neighborhood, Grossman compromised with neighbors on 31 lots for the project.Neighbors, who organized a group named “Friends of the Bluff,” met with Grossman and town staff to broker a compromise.”I think its a good example of how the community and the developer can work together,” said Peggy Jones, a neighbor.
The group was pleased with the outcome of the process, although many still had mixed feelings about the land near the bluff being developed.”This is not an easy project for the neighbors to support,” said Paquita Bath, who lives next to the future subdivision.Neighbors urged the commission to prohibit secondary housing units, often referred to as granny flats, from the project. But the commission, citing town policies and state law, stood its ground, noting that secondary units are a strategic way to expand affordable housing.The commission also moved a lot that bordered the mine that adjoins the northern portion of the parcel to ensure that the home would be shielded further from the noise of the mine if it expands to its southern limit.
The visibility of the project, from both Interstate 80 and the surrounding neighbors was another issue. Commissioners agreed that the nearly 200-foot setback from the bluff, and required tree planting, would help shield the homes from view.But the commission knew that hiding the homes entirely was impossible.”We’re going to see these houses,” said Commissioner Nancy Richards. “It’s going to change the character of the bluff.”Three commissioners – Nancy Richards, Nikki Riley and Bob Johnston – voted to approve the project. Commissioners Cole Butler and Cadie Olsen were absent from the meeting. The Sierra Bluff approval can be appealed within the next 10 days.