Town to decide fate of Jibboom Street house
Truckee’s Town Council will discuss issues ranging from raising town employee salaries what to do with an old brothel at its regular meeting tonight.
The council will hear presentations from the town engineer and the county’s planning director as well as vote on a variety of fiscal and development issues. One of the items that promises to get heated attention is what to do with “Dot’s Place,” the house with a colorful history at 10098 Jibboom St.
Sometimes referred to as “Dot’s Place,” after one of its possible owners in the 1920s, the building has fallen into disrepair and been the subject of debate between town preservationists and the building’s owners.
The present dispute began in May, 1999, when owners David Taylor and David Giacomini requested that the Town of Truckee evaluate the historic significance of the property. The owners planned to demolish the house to make way for an office building.
But Truckee citizens interested in keeping the town’s history intact said that the house should stay despite the fact that it was not included in two catalogs of historical buildings over the past 20 years. Mary Dutra, president of the Truckee Donner Historical society says that the man who compiled the latest historical catalog admitted that he made a mistake in not including the Jibboom Street house.
Chelsea Walterscheid, former president of the Truckee-Donner Historical Society, said the society will always advocate preserving instead of destroying any structure in town. She explained that her organization is working to have the entire downtown area district registered as a historical district, but Truckee comes just short of qualifying for that distinction.
“Truckee has few resources compared to a town like Nevada City,” she said, adding that the C.B. White house is the only structure that is on the national registry.
The owners disagree that the building has any historical or architectural value and that it has been altered significantly through the years.
The house may have been reconstructed after a fire in 1913 that destroyed much of Jibboom Street.
The owners and the town planning committee agree that there is little of the building’s original structure still visible and that there is little to suggest the building’s role in Truckee’s early history.
Truckee Town Planner Duane Hall said the property does not deserve recognition as a registered historical site in the town because “the preliminary historic survey done for the property concluded that the building did not meet the national register criteria.”
He adds that there are already 120 historically eligible properties in town along with another 60 of local interest.
Giacomini is president of Sierra Mountain Mortgage, located directly across the street from Dot’s House, and said that he intends to transform the property into offices for his company. He said the house is zoned for mixed use and presently houses three apartments.
He said that he feels confident that the council will vote in favor of tearing down the house, and that Historic Preservation Advisory Committee did not consider the property historical by a vote of five to one.
In addition, Giacomini says that town officials working on the case are expected to recommend to the council that the building should be demolished on the basis that it has no local historic or architectural significance based on the fact that it was not included in two lists of historic properties compiled over the past 20 years.
According to Giacomini, there have been two drug busts in the house in the past two years, the most recently only one month ago. Giacomini said that the property is not an ideal location for housing and that he hopes to improve the entire street with the help of the owner of the neighboring house who also intends to upgrade his property.
“We want to clean up the parking lot which has not been a safe place,” he said. “We want to clean up the parking lot which has not been a safe place. We find some very interesting things in our parking lots in the morning.”
He added that the tenants were told that the house would be renovated when the property was purchased two years ago.
The council will also vote to set up a committee to work with the downtown and railroad concerning alternatives to the Old Mill Site now under consideration for a commercial development, in the Downtown Specific Plan.
The council will also vote on a number of issues concerning Truckee’s upcoming fiscal year. First on the list is the town’s budget for fiscal year 2000/2001 which the Council is expected to adopt.
Council will vote on a plan calling for a 3.4 percent raise for town employees and mid-managers. The plan also calls for administrative and sick leave standards as well as incentive pay and insurance benefits for mid-level managers.
The meeting will take place at the Truckee Donner Public Utility District boardroom at 11570 Donner Pass Rd. at 6 p.m.
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