Truckee redevelopment: Final proposal for West River site nears | SierraSun.com

Truckee redevelopment: Final proposal for West River site nears

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun
Sun file photoA look at the Nevada County Corporation Yard site on West River Street in this file photo.
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TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Town hope to fine tune a redevelopment plan for the old corporation yard after council members and planning commissioners recently raised concerns about the siteand#8217;s soil composition and finance plan.

Last month, BMS Design Group and#8212; an urban design firm based in San Francisco and Nevada City and#8212; and town officials presented a draft feasibility study to the Truckee Planning Commission and Town Council in a workshop that highlighted improvements to the 1.42-acre site located at 10257 W. River St.

Councilwoman Carolyn Wallace Dee questioned the stability of the soil at the site and asked BMS consultants to investigate erosion.

and#8220;It might be absolutely stable, but I wanted to know they adequately studied the area,and#8221; Dee said in a follow-up interview.

Council and commission members also questioned the potential profitability of a proposed restaurant for the site, saying more planning is needed because the draft study did not account for the townand#8217;s seasonal visitors.

and#8220;Weand#8217;re working on doing a little more due diligence on those two subjects,and#8221; said David Griffith, the townand#8217;s redevelopment and housing coordinator.

While most details were outlined within the draft, a final feasibility study will be presented to the council and commissioners in early March, Griffin said.

Pending approval in March, Town Manager Tony Lashbrook said greater details will be generated after the project bid is sent out to potential developers.

and#8220;Weand#8217;ll have some more information which weand#8217;ll be providing through the development review process,and#8221; Lashbrook said.

The redevelopment plan has two alternatives, with one assuming all improvements and parking must be located within the 1.42-acre parcel, and the other allowing nearly 100 percent of the parking to be located off-site.

Alternative 1 provides amenities such as a restaurant, a multi-use park near the river, a flexible use plaza and a 15-foot wide paved pedestrian zone along West River Street, in addition to lighting, landscaping and tree features. Construction costs for this alternative are estimated at $4.6 million and include 23 parking spots on site, about 22 spots in plaza overflow parking and 19 spaces on West River Street. Total open space is estimated to be about 41,000 square feet, which is just smaller than 1 acre.

Alternative 2 contains many of the design features in Alternative 1, yet defines itself with the majority of the parking off site and the addition of several two-story mixed use buildings along West River Street. The only on-site parking is limited to 5 spaces for handicapped persons and for drop-off; however, off site parking would include 17 spaces on West River Street and 160 spaces north of West River Street, in the space between the railroad tracks and street.

The cost of Alternative 2 is estimated at $7.1 million, with 45,000 square feet of open space planned.

Lashbrook said he believes both plans accommodate the additional traffic that would be generated by either alternative.

Both plans were generated with the help of two previous community outreach workshops, the first held in September and the second in November.

A possible major obstacle for moving forward with the West River Site redevelopment will be California Gov. Jerry Brownand#8217;s new budget, which could generate legislation to seize some or all of the townand#8217;s redevelopment agency funding.

An RDA funding grab would leave the project without any funding, unless private investors were to commit money and#8212; something Lashbrook said is unlikely given the current economy.

To date, the town dedicated $200,000 in 2004 to acquire the West River site from Nevada County so it could transfer the property to its redevelopment agency. Since, the redevelopment agency has completed $225,000 in site work including soil remediation, demolition of old county buildings and groundwater monitoring.