Tow council approves seven-home project
The Truckee Town Council approved a seven-home project that had been stalled by an appeal questioning wetland boundaries in the area and other details of the plan.The project, originally proposed as eight homes on a 4.98-acre parcel on the 13000 block of Donner Pass Road in the Donner Lake neighborhood, was appealed by Mark and Janet Brady and George Delong at the July 3 town council meeting. The main issue prompting the appeal was whether or not the wetland had been accurately mapped; however, the appellants also asked for reduced construction hours, a less dense project, and more information on the project’s impact on special animal species.The council decided to continue the July appeal, allowing the Truckee Planning Commission and the applicants to gather more information. The town contracted North Fork Associates to establish the boundaries of the wetland. The applicant, MC Taylor Construction, also reduced the project to seven homes with a shorter driveway and increased setbacks from the building to the edge of the wetland.At Thursday’s meeting the council heard the new information on the project and the planning commission’s recommendation that the council approve the modified project.The appellants, represented by Adrian Juncosa, once again questioned the accuracy of the wetland boundary, partially because it was mapped in the fall, not, as they would have preferred, in the spring, when the presence of water would make the boundary more identifiable.They also raised all of the other concerns addressed in their initial appeal.The applicants, represented by Gavin Ball, noted the superiority of their modified project and the changes that addressed the concerns raised in the appeal.The setbacks in the plan put the houses more than 11 feet away from the newly mapped wetland, and Ball assured the council that the waterline and driveway would have a negligible effect on the wetland. The planners also addressed water drainage and runoff issues.The council scrutiny focused on whether the wetland had been mapped accurately. North Fork Associates and Community Development Director Tony Lashbrook pointed out that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would have final say on whether the identified boundary was accurate. The members of the council seemed satisfied that the dispute over the border of the wetland would be settled by the Corps decision to verify or reject the wetland boundaries.After a period of questioning, the council voted unanimously to deny the appeal and approve the project. However, since the council noted the appeal helped to shape a better proposal, they agreed to waive the appeal fee and have the builder replace a fence bordering a neighboring property.”I think the council did a very good job of working through the technical issues,” Ball said. Ball noted that construction on the project most likely will start in May. The actual date still depends on the report of the town-hired biologist, who will determine the effect of construction on special bird species.In other news:DonnerLake patrolTruckee police may soon have the funding to add a well-equipped dive team to its Donner Lake Patrol and Enforcement program.The town council approved a resolution that authorized the police department to seek $40,000 from the California Department of Boating and Waterways (CDBW).Last year the department received $45,000 from the CDBW, using it to buy a patrol boat for the lake. Along with the donation of two other boats, this initiated the Boating Safety and Enforcement Program. But the department needs the additional funding to buy equipment required for its increased involvement at the lake.”Along with our other activities, we have also assumed responsibility of rescue at the lake,” Police Chief Dan Boon said.The grant will fund new equipment for the patrol boat, and all of the equipment necessary to start a dive and rescue team. No new personnel will be required for the team, Boon said. The department will train current employees and seek volunteers from the community.
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