Truckee development: Planning for West River site under way |

Truckee development: Planning for West River site under way

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; A San Francisco company will study the old county corporation yard on West River Street and coordinate public process to come up with ideas for the site that would help revitalize the riverside stretch of downtown.

After putting out a request for proposals for a feasibility study on the 1.4-acre former equipment yard, which town of Truckee staff previously considered for a public plaza, the town signed BMS Design Group out of the Bay Area to a contract to prepare it. The contract was approved with a budget of $70,000 from Community Development Block Grant funds and $14,000 in Truckee Redevelopment Agency matching funds.

and#8220;We want this to be an open public process, using the townand#8217;s previous work as a starting point, but looking at a range of alternatives. We want to take the range of alternatives to the public; in fact we want the public to give us some of those alternatives,and#8221; said Michael Smiley with BMS. and#8220;The project should respond to the surrounding neighborhood and stimulate it.and#8221;

Previous suggestions from Truckee residents have ranged from a public park along the river to a new site for the Truckee Library.

Steve Harris, a Truckee resident who attended last Thursdayand#8217;s town council meeting, said West River residents donand#8217;t want commercial development on the property, but would be open to a community-serving use or a nonprofit.

Housing and Redevelopment Coordinator David Griffith said BMS will analyze the site from July to September, then host the first of three public workshops.

The design group then would move into alternative plan preparation from September to November, presenting those alternatives at a second workshop at the end of that period, Griffith said.

Finally, the firm would prepare a draft plan in November and December, host a third workshop and then present to the town council in December or January, he said.

Out of nine applying firms, BMS was picked by an eight-person committee that included town staff, town council members and a West River Street resident. Smiley and partner Nancy Fleming have more than 30 years of experience in urban design and planning.

Smiley said he is known for his work on the Embarcadero project in San Francisco, as the proponent for the palm trees that now line the street. The firm also has an office in Nevada City.

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