Truckee delves into development code | SierraSun.com

Truckee delves into development code

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

The Town of Truckee is trying to find a place in local law for important issues ranging from open space to night sky standards.

After months of public workshops and meetings, and tackling topics like green building and sign standards, one thing has become clear for Truckee’s planning commission ” updating the town’s development code is going to take more time.

After four years of work updating the town’s general plan, staff, the planning commission, and town council turned their sights to the development code last fall, working on turning general plan policy into law, hoping to finish by the end of April.

“Once the planning commission got into it, they started looking at doing a more thorough update,” said Town Planner Duane Hall. “The will be spending more time talking about issues and concerns raised by the public.”

Now Hall said the town is aiming to wrap up the update by late 2008.

Next up for the planning commission to consider will be open space, building clustering, tree preservation, and hillside standards, Hall said.

One way open space could be preserved through town code could be by providing incentives to developers to build inside of town, rather than expanding outwards, said John Eaton, president of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation.

“As towns grow they tend to grow outwards, and the town center dies,” Eaton said. “We could keep development in the center and preserve open space with the development code update.”

Preserving trees to screen new buildings is also an important topic, he said.

“I certainly believe in thinning for fires, but saving trees is very important,” Eaton said.

Further down the road, the planning commission will look at night sky lighting standards to potentially lower light pollution, Hall said.

Engaging the public on these issues is an important part of the process, he said, and on top of the town hall workshops, the town will start going out into different parts of the community.

“We want early opportunity for the public to provide input ” generally public input comes closer to the end,” Hall said. “So starting in April and May we’ll start neighborhood meetings like in Glenshire and organization meetings with groups like [Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe] and [Mountain Area Preservation Foundation].”