Truckee development: What’s best for the West River Street property? | SierraSun.com

Truckee development: What’s best for the West River Street property?

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Greyson Howard/Sierra SunThe old county corporation yard (left) next to the Truckee River. The Town of Truckee wants to renovate the site, and some suggestions have come forward and#8212; including a park and a library and#8212; from members of the public.
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TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; The Town of Truckee has had a long-standing goal of revitalizing its image along the Truckee River by extending downtownand#8217;s character to the riverand#8217;s bank, taking advantage of the scenery.

Town staff thinks it could all start at an unused former county corporation yard, a 1.4-acre dirt lot at the corner of West River Street and Riverside Drive.

Truckee Redevelopment and Housing Coordinator David Griffith said the town is looking for bidders to perform a feasibility study for the site and create a public process to determine the best use for the waterfront property, paid for with $84,000 in Community Development Block Grant and Truckee Redevelopment Agency funds.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re attempting to pick up where the public process left off,and#8221; Griffith said of the West River Revitalization Plan that envisioned a public plaza and mixed use development on the lot. and#8220;But we also want to start with a clean slate in terms of what the public wants today.and#8221;

Proposals are due by May 5, and town council expects to make a decision on June 3; the study would be complete, including a minimum of three public workshops, by fall or winter, according to the townand#8217;s website.

Other elements of the project include ongoing cleanup efforts from petroleum leaks originating at the former Berry-Hinkley and Chevron building across the street, as well as talks with the owners of the property across the river that could result in a pedestrian bridge, Griffith said.

Members of the public have already started to offer alternatives to a plaza and mixed-use development for the 1.4-acre site, including a park and a new library, Griffith said.

Ruth Hall of the Friends of the Truckee Library said the property is ideal both in its proximity to downtown and to the river to replace the aging library on Levon Avenue.

and#8220;Weand#8217;ve had a number of meetings and focus groups, and one thing thatand#8217;s come up over and over is that people would love the library on the river,and#8221; Hall said.

The group has also looked at sites at the Truckee River Regional Park, the Railyard development planned for the east end of downtown and another property along the Truckee River, Hall said.

and#8220;We really want to have a building Truckee is proud of; weand#8217;re inspired by what the (Truckee Donner Recreation and Parks District) has done with their new building,and#8221; Hall said.

Griffith said he was also approached while walking the site by neighbors on Riverside Drive who said a park-like setting on the east side could help transition the property into their neighborhood.

and#8220;This is a really unique opportunity because we own the property,and#8221; said Rolf Godon, a neighbor of the property. and#8220;Weand#8217;d like to see more of a downtown park area where people could come and picnic or hang out.and#8221;

He said in talking to his neighbors, theyand#8217;d like less commercial than previously envisioned and#8212; maybe one cafe and#8212; and a park area as a community gathering point.

More commercial could create problems with traffic and parking, Godon said.