Truckee open-space deal wins first approval | SierraSun.com

Truckee open-space deal wins first approval

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

The Truckee Planning Commission has approved a deal that would swap 73 acres of Airport Flats open space for additional development within Old Greenwood.

The commission will forward its decision to Truckee’s town council, which will have the final say on the $1.75 million deal to preserve open space along Interstate 80 in one of Truckee’s designated scenic corridors.

Additionally, the commission recommended an alternative to the original deal, introduced at its Aug. 8 meeting, which would swap 25 additional lots in Old Greenwood for 20 townhomes.

Jeff Butterworth, project manager for Old Greenwood, initially said East West Partners would purchase the roughly 73 acres in Airport Flats in exchange for the ability to zone 25 additional single-family lots on 14 acres of open space within the Old Greenwood development.

While the commission approved this proposal, the commissioners recommended an alternative presented by East West Partners that would instead allow 20 townhomes on 10 acres of open space in the same area of Old Greenwood, Butterworth said.

“Some of the homeowners in Old Greenwood were concerned with how adding more units would affect their property values, and how the new homes would affect their view corridor,” Butterworth said. “The townhome alternative eliminates both of those concerns.”

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While individual property owners would build the townhomes on the 25 lots, Old Greenwood would control the design and construction, leaving a “visual buffer” of trees undisturbed, Butterworth said.

If the town council approves the deal at its Sept. 20 meeting, the open-space property would be turned over to the Town of Truckee, the Truckee Donner Land Trust, or another entity of the town’s choosing, according to a town staff report.

This deal would not lock up all of Airport Flats as open space, however. The rest of the 265 acres consists of privately owned lots, some with notices of violation for illegal subdivision, according to the report.

The Hualapai Indian Tribe of Arizona also own a portion of the land, and has expressed interest in the past in developing their property.

Jack Ehrhardt, Hualapai planning director, said at a February meeting the tribe was concerned that the Old Greenwood deal would limit access to their property, limiting the development potential.

In a previous interview, Town Planner Duane Hall said the land had been zoned open space since before the Hualapai acquired it, and the East West Partners’ proposal wouldn’t affect the tribe’s legal rights.

With the town’s new inclusionary housing ordinance in place, the construction of additional units in Old Greenwood would require East West Partners to build additional affordable housing as well, according to staff reports.

The development team proposed placing eight affordable housing units in Gray’s Crossing, including both single-family and multi-family units with one-time and long-term price restrictions, according to the report.