Truckee moving forward with Joerger Ranch plan
February 29, 2012
TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; After tackling Planned Community One (the Coldstream Development) and Planned Community Two (Gray’s Crossing), the town of Truckee is now turning its focus to Planned Community Three andamp;#8212; Joerger Ranch.Plans for the 67-acre property, located on both sides of Highway 267 near the Brockway Road intersection, have been discussed on and off for the past 10 years. Last week, Town Council gave staff direction to proceed andamp;#8212; though thoughtfully and cautiously andamp;#8212; during a joint workshop Thursday with the Truckee Planning Commission.andamp;#8220;The potential for blight has been mentioned by all of us,andamp;#8221; said Vice Mayor Barbara Green, according to a video transcript of the meeting. andamp;#8220;If we go at the wrong speed and in the wrong direction, we could end up with loss of open space, loss of natural configurations and lots of empty buildings.andamp;#8221;The workshop unveiled key elements of the Joerger Ranch draft Specific Plan. The plan seeks to overlay land use designations and design guidelines onto the site, which does not currently have zoning regulations.According to town staff, under the 1972 Martis Valley Community Plan, the Joerger Family Ranch was zoned for commercial use. When the town of Truckee was incorporated and its General Plan adopted, the property was earmarked as one of three planned communities. With the designation, the previous commercial designation became obsolete.Both Truckee planning staff and the Joerger family consultancy team have worked together to design the draft Specific Plan.andamp;#8220;The town looked at what opportunities this site could provide in the future,andamp;#8221; said Community Development Director John McLaughlin in a follow-up interview. andamp;#8220;How could we attract the kinds of business and establishments that fit with the Truckee lifestyle?andamp;#8221;
The Joerger Ranch property would be split into seven land use designations: regional commercial, regional support commercial, lifestyle commercial, business park, business innovation zone, multi-family residential and open space.In addition to the zoning regulations, town staff identified three economic nodes andamp;#8212; or targeted uses andamp;#8212; for the property.If a business plan falls within one of the three economic nodes, McLaughlin explained, the start-up process would be expedited. Conversely, if a business did not classify as one of the targeted uses, the project might trigger a more extensive review by the Town, he said. The draft Specific Plan suggests a few possible uses for the differing designations, including spirits manufacturing; furniture and appliance sales; car sales; Harley Davidson sales and rentals; custom light sales; indoor fitness; a grocery store; research and development facilities; and greenhouse food production, to name a few.Staff said they are actively working to avoid pulling commerce from the downtown businesses.
Residents, council members and commissioners shared many concerns Thursday; high on the list is the desire for the development to reflect the values outlined the Truckee General Plan.Specific concerns include the walkability of the proposed development andamp;#8212; especially where it crosses Highway 267 at Brockway Road andamp;#8212; and the project’s ability to connect with existing bike paths.Many also cautioned against patchwork development andamp;#8212; the possibility the site might be built out in a piecemeal, and perhaps haphazard, fashion.The workforce housing proposal raised many questions, including: Is it too close to the highways? Is the area too loud for residential use? How would it be assured housing would be reserved for members of the local employees?And many also stated concerns the project did not yet reflect its role as the gateway to the community.Council eventually directed town staff to consider the issues, tweak the draft Specific Plan as needed and begin the environmental review process.andamp;#8220;It’s a work in progress for the coming year,andamp;#8221; McLaughlin said. andamp;#8220;We are going to work with the Joerger family team to address what was brought up in the meeting. The plan will change.andamp;#8221;Once progress is made on the environmental review, dates for public scoping meetings are expected to be announced.Lear more about the plan by clicking “Current Projects” at the town’s website, http://www.townoftruckee.com