Truckee development: Residents, agencies upset over Canyon Springs road project
November 8, 2010
TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Nearby residents of the Canyon Springs development are worried pre-construction progress at the site is surpassing town approval after Nevada County permitted road work there last month.On Oct. 11, Canyon Springs of Truckee project owner Christopher andamp;#8220;Chipandamp;#8221; Huck began county permitted road construction off Martis Peak Road, creating the primary access point that will connect to his still-to-be-approved development, which would be adjacent to the Glenshire residential development, approximately one mile south of Interstate 80.According to an environmental impact report sent to the town of Truckee, the proposal consists of 185 single-family parcels located across 284 acres of land, 70 acres of which would be situated on currently zoned open space land.Kaitlin Backlund, spokeswoman for the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation andamp;#8212; the Truckee-based open space preservation agency andamp;#8212; said while the construction was legal, it was done prematurely and against the will of many residents.andamp;#8220;It’s been our observation that Martis Peak Road is a gated road that is an easement that goes into a subdivision outside Truckee’s boundaries,andamp;#8221; Backlund said. andamp;#8220;(Canyon Springs) is investing money for an ingress and egress for their subdivision … why fund something with overwhelming protest by residents?andamp;#8221;Backlund said a poll was taken of residents in the area, with the majority opposing the road’s construction.Huck said the construction is an improvement to the previous entrance, moved during the construction and fully approved by Nevada County. Huck said he has been working with the community and will continue to sit down with concerned residents to discuss the development.andamp;#8220;We continue to update the Canyon Springs website, send out informational e-blasts to individuals who are interested in the project and conduct outreach to supporters and opponents by meeting with folks to discuss the project and hear their concerns,andamp;#8221; Huck said.Denyelle Nishimori, assistant planner for the town, confirmed county approval of the project and said the construction will provide for a fire turnaround andamp;#8212; allowing fire trucks space to maneuver in case of emergency.Because of the complexities surrounding environmental reviews, hiring of consultants and other aspects in the review process, Nishimori said it is uncertain when a final review by town officials would be given or even when the process will jump to another phase.andamp;#8220;I wish we could do that, have timelines and dates when things will be approved, but we can’t,andamp;#8221; she said. andamp;#8220;We’re still in the process of reviewing it.andamp;#8221;
While residents are concerned about initial construction on Martis Creek Road, Backlund said larger concerns center on how the proposed development deals with traffic, environment and economic issues.The potential for cross traffic and additional congestion, Backlund said, has residents worried there will be a decrease in pedestrian safety in the area.Leigh Golden, president of SOS Glenshire, said he sees initial construction as a way for Canyon Springs to gain leverage for future approval.andamp;#8220;They know Glenshire residents don’t want to put their kids’ safety at risk by having all that traffic come through our quiet neighborhoods,andamp;#8221; Golden said in a press release. andamp;#8220;So now they are going around the town and local residents by getting access through Nevada County.andamp;#8221;Huck said everything will be done to ensure traffic does not become a problem, starting with an Environmental Impact Report to evaluate existing and future conditions inside and outside the development.andamp;#8220;Additional traffic counts obtained at the appropriate time of the year will be incorporated into the analysis,andamp;#8221; Huck said. andamp;#8220;Further discussion will occur during the review process.andamp;#8221;Backlund said another concern is a potential housing glut in Truckee and a subsequent lack of demand by home buyers that could leave partial development and further lower home values.As an example, she pointed to the Sawmill Heights workforce apartment complex that forced owners, Northstar Community Housing Corp. of Truckee, into default in October of 2009.A second example Backlund referenced was the Elk Horn Ridge development site, a phase of the Cambridge Estates development that was owned by Rick Boggs under Martis Valley Investments. Backlund said the site has never been fully developed leaving empty lots along residential roads.Huck contends Canyon Springs would actually spur the local economy, generating approximately $710,100 for school facility and classroom improvements via Tahoe Truckee Unified School District development impact fees by 2020; in addition, the development will generate hundreds of thousands of dollars for the town in building permit fees.