Truckee development update: How many is too many?
TRUCKEE ” With an estimated population of nearly 16,000 in Truckee today, a projected maximum of more than 28,000 people seems far away.
But with three big projects in the pipeline and one already approved, plans for future Truckee are being made today, and residents who want their voices heard need to speak up sooner rather than later.
“It’s important people get involved now,” said Town Planner Duane Hall. “We’ve got to have an understanding of how we want these properties to develop because they are going to be accommodating growth for the next 10 to 20 years.”
And those developments representing the bulk of Truckee’s future growth are the recently approved Hilltop, the Railyard, Joerger Ranch and Coldstream, Hall said.
Hilltop will overlook downtown near Cottonwood; the Railyard will extend downtown to the east; Joerger Ranch will be built around Highway 267 and Brockway Road; while Coldstream is planned for east of Donner Lake.
Following current numbers, those four projects could take Truckee from 80 percent to 91 percent complete in commercial and industrial development, and from 62 percent to 72 percent of residential, Hall said.
“We have to figure out what we want for the next 10 to 20 years ” the community has to make the tough decisions on land uses, design, affordable housing, pedestrian connectivity ” all those things,” Hall said.
After that, it’s just small parcels and already subdivided vacant lots scattered throughout the community, Hall said.
“We estimate there are 2,000 to 3,000 vacant single family lots still out there,” Hall said.
Trying to preserve open space in the area, Perry Norris, executive director of the Truckee Donner Land Trust, said those developments inside the town of Truckee aren’t a high priority.
“Infill development such as the Railyard clearly makes sense ” we’re not going to buy the Railyard for open space obviously,” Norris said.
Instead, Norris said the land trust is keeping in eye around the edges of town ” both inside town limits and out.
“We’re more concerned with the type of development that could lead to sprawl,” Norris said. “Most development in the Truckee area recently has been in unincorporated Martis Valley.”
But if Truckee does grow outward along with infill, Hall said the town has plans in the work to coordinate with Nevada County to make sure new development outside of town is compatible with Truckee.
Looking most specifically at the Raley’s property east of Glenshire, the Town of Truckee is creating a sphere of influence, where town policy dictates development outside the town, Hall said.
Norris said the Raley property, the recently-stalled Canyon Springs near Glenshire, Donner Summit, and other potential areas for rural sprawl are high priorities for preservation by the land trust.
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The Truckee Town Council has unanimously approved of a pilot program to remove snow on privately maintained paved trails in the area.