Truckee council approves moratorium on new gas stations, storage facilities

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Town Council approved a temporary moratorium on new storage facilities and gas stations during their Tuesday evening meeting. 

The meeting started on a somber note, as the Vice Mayor Lindsay Romack called for a moment of reflection for missing teenage Kiely Rodni’s friends and family. 

“I just want to take a moment to acknowledge that our community is hurting right now and understandably rattled with the disappearance of Kiely Rodni,” Romack said. 

Acting Chief of Police Danny Renfrow gave an update on the search, asking teens who were with Rodni on Friday to come forward with information. He promised the teens would not get in trouble. 

After recognizing the community impact of Rodni’s disappearance, the council moved forward with business matters.

With land for new development being limited in the town, staff want to explore ways to limit or ban those types of developments, especially buildings like storage that take up a lot of space without offering a lot of jobs. The moratorium will last 45 days while staff work on finalizing the land use element of the General Plan. 

Mayor Courtney Henderson was absent from the meeting and the provision needed all four present members to approve the moratorium in order to pass. 

Both Councilmembers Dave Polivy and Jan Zabriskie were on the fence about the moratorium. Polivy said he didn’t like the moratorium and Zabriskie said he needed hard evidence to prove banning those land uses would be a net positive for the community. 

Staff argued the moratorium would allow them time to gather evidence one way or the other. Ultimately, all four members approved the moratorium. 

The council also voiced their support on single-use foodware policy recommendations. A working group researched ways to limit single-use foodware items and gave the council several different policy recommendations, including a ban of the sale of polystyrene, requiring reusable foodware for in-house dining, and a 25 cent fee for disposable cups. All four council members supported those recommendations. 

The working group did suggest some exceptions and waivers, as well as ways the town could help fund the businesses’ transition. Staff was just looking for feedback from the council and will return in the fall with an ordinance for possible approval. 

During the meeting, the council heard an update on the summer microtransit pilot program. Without microtransit, Tahoe Truckee Area Regional Transportation sees almost 25,000 passengers a year. 

During the pilot program, there were 10,968 passengers and 835 unique rider accounts. Of all the rides, 21% were shared, 64% were to or from downtown and 21% were to, or from, Tahoe Donner. 

Planning Commissioner Suzie Tarnay spoke during public comment, asking to greenhouse gas emissions data for the rides taken versus GHG emissions if riders had driven their own cars. The program is still operating for a few more weeks but Alfred Knotts, transit program manager said he’ll be presenting that data once the program concludes. 

Finally, the council approved $25,000 for the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation for its Community Organizations Active in a Disaster program. The COAD will organize volunteers from various agencies and organizations during a disaster. The money will be split over two years. After the two years are complete, TTCF will fundraise for the following years. 

During the meeting, Town Manager Jennifer Callaway announced Nevada County Supervisors approved the half-cent tax measure being placed on the ballot. It will include a 10-year sunset clause which the town council had asked for. County staff will also be crafting an agreement for distribution of funds to the town. 

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