Truckee council, planning commission continues General Plan discussion

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Town Council and Planning Commission are closer to finalizing the 2040 General Plan after another marathon discussion on the plan Tuesday night. 

Staff had made several updates to the General Plan based on council, commission and public comments. During the joint meeting on Tuesday, the members of the groups were able to ask any outstanding questions and make comments on the changes. 

One item the groups discussed was the Climate Action Plan. When the council and commission last discussed the CAP, they found that the initiatives and suggestions would not get the town even close to its 2040 greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals. At the time, they sent the plan back to the consultants to make changes that would get the town closer to its goals. 

However, the plan would need substantial changes and technology is lacking so the town groups opted to keep the plan as is and revisit it in four years. 

During the Tuesday meeting, staff asked the two groups to discuss whether level of service is still the best method to track the success of traffic and roadways. 

According to the staff presentation, “level of service is used to describe traffic operating conditions along a roadway or at an intersection. In the General Plan traffic analysis, roadway LOS is based upon a comparison of the traffic volume along the roadway to the capacity of that  roadway, whereas intersection LOS is based on the delay associated with vehicles making specific thru or turning movements at an intersection.”

The alternative would be to traffic vehicle miles traveled which is “a metric that accounts for the number of vehicle trips generated and the length or distance of those trips.”

To focus on LOS would lead the town to have to build more roads to accommodate for more cars on the road. 

Commissioner Suzie Tarnay, who has long been in favor of expanding public transportation and making streets more bike friendly and walkable, pushed the town to move to using VMT as its metric. However, the council and commission decided to maintain current LOS while focusing on efforts to reduce VMT in the future. 

There will be another joint meeting on Oct. 11. 

Prior to the joint session starting, the council had several consent agenda items to approve. One of the items was an official declaration of opposition of Measure V by the council. Mayor Courtney Henderson asked for the item to be pulled and said she didn’t think the council should take an official stance. 

“I have not backed off my position at all, I do not support Measure V,” Henderson said. “As I stated previously, this puts the town in a position where we’ll be extremely limited in our ability to address unforeseen issues in the future.” 

She went on to say that the measure will give the town only one quarter of a cent of sales taxing ability. In addition, she restarted that she prefers the tax to be a special tax not a general tax. 

“That said, I am in no way here to start a war with the county … in this circumstance I simply disagree on the approach of this measure but not on the goals that it is trying to achieve,” Henderson said. 

The council unanimously agreed to not take action on the item. 

In addition, the council welcomed two new members of town staff; Kelly Carpenter, Deputy Clerk; and Conor Drewes, IT Technician.

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