Traffic a concern for Glenshire area subdivision
Plans for a 213-lot subdivision adjacent to Glenshire is raising neighbors’ concerns over traffic.
Canyon Springs, previously known as Tahoe Boca, sits southeast of Glenshire and currently calls for 181 market-rate homes and 32 workforce homes. The development is planned with two access points ” one will use Edinburgh Drive that winds through homes and the other will come from Martis Peak Road.
“Edinburgh was set up for future expansion and we are that expansion,” said Mark Gergen, a partner in Canyon Springs.
The subdivision’s impact on Glenshire traffic is being studied as a part of an environmental review, which will shortly be released as a draft version by the Town of Truckee.
Gergen, meanwhile, said the property was acquired in 2001, and early plans called for 250 lots. But after a public meeting in 2003 the number was reduced.
“After the 2003 meeting we decided to voluntarily do an EIR (environmental impact report), reduced the number to 213, increased affordable housing, and increased open space,” Gergen said.
The traffic study in the EIR works on the assumptions that 50 percent of the lots will have second “granny” units, and that 100 percent of the lots will be full-time residents, said Brian Olson, a partner in the project.
“Will there be 50 percent granny flats? No. Will there be 100 percent full-time? Probably not,” Olson said. “But we need to use those extremes to know the roads can handle it.”
At a public meeting Monday night regarding the development, a group of about 75 people voiced concerns over the traffic impact to their neighborhoods.
John King, a Glenshire resident, said that traffic is the main problem with the project.
“They haven’t had any answers other than ‘engineers say,’ but the engineers don’t live out here,” King said.
He suggested coming up with another route for traffic other than through area neighborhoods, which Gergen said isn’t possible, and reducing the number of lots. King said the property could be developed, but that residents’ input should be considered.
“I hope they listened to the concerns of the people and not just the engineers, otherwise they are going to have a fight on their hands,” King said.
Gavin Ball, a member of the Canyon Springs team, said at the meeting that initial data from the traffic study shows the existing roads can handle the traffic generated by the development, but stressed that was only from a technical standpoint.
In a subsequent interview on Tuesday, Gergen said that paying for a traffic study independent of the environmental review is a suggestion from the public meeting that he and his partners will pursue.
“We want to move ahead with an independent traffic consultant ASAP,” Gergen said.
Leigh Golden, who has lived in the Glenshire area for eight years, said at the meeting that there are no solutions to the impacts the development will bring.
“They need to buckle it up and say ‘we made a mistake,’ and sell it to the land trust,” Golden said.
Working with numbers released by the developers, Golden calculated a maximum of more than 1,700 trips per day coming from the southern part of the subdivision via Edinburgh Drive.
Gergen said that the northern access at Martis Peak Road would be promoted as the primary access.
But trying to solve traffic problems must reach beyond the development boundaries, Gergen said.
“One of the benefits to responsible development should be, ‘What can we do to improve traffic on Glenshire?'” Gergen said.
The development of the subdivision won’t come all at once, said Mark Gergen, a partner in Canyon Springs.
“We will build out in three to four phases two to four years apart, but the market will also drive that,” Gergen said.
Phases would be built from north to south, promoting the use of the Martis Peak Road access, Gergen said.
Construction could begin at the earliest in 2007, Olson said, which would put the project on a 10 year build-out schedule.
Many people at a public meeting regarding Canyon Springs suggested reducing the number of lots from 213 to reduce traffic.
Denyelle Nishimori, an associate planner with the Town of Truckee, said 213 is the current maximum number of lots allowed by the town.
At Monday’s meeting Canyon Springs owners said they will not consider reducing the number of lots at this time because of unknown costs.
“The Glenshire trails, the Legacy Trail, traffic calming features, and affordable housing are absolutely driven by the 213 figure,” Gergen said Tuesday.
The subdivision will include 182 acres of open space, which comprises 64 percent of the total project, Gergen said.
The open space will include a public trail system, two playgrounds, and specifically protects certain habitats and a wildlife corridor, Gergen said.
He assured the audience at the meeting that the proposed open space under this development would be permanent.
At the public meeting, Ball said that no development will occur in the area’s wetlands, and any lot will be “no closer than 100 feet from the 100 year flood plain.”
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