Truckee seeks redevelopment input at hearing | SierraSun.com
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Truckee seeks redevelopment input at hearing

JOHN A. BAYLESS

Truckee Town Council will conduct a public hearing tonight on the Truckee Redevelopment Plan, Final Environmental Impact Report and Report to Council – one of the final steps before establishment of a Redevelopment Project Area in Truckee.

Following the hearing, town staff will modify the documents as directed by council and prepare for the certification of a final Redevelopment Plan EIR and adoption of the Redevelopment Plan.

The entire project area lies within the Town of Truckee General Plan, and the majority of the parcels lie within the Downtown Study Area as established by the Downtown Specific Plan.

The proposed project area includes more than 800 acres of land.

Outside the Downtown Study Area, the proposed project area includes 170 acres of PC-1, 120 acres of commercial land, 89 acres of public land, a portion of residential land in PC-1, and 52 acres of industrial land.

Using redevelopment, the town will be able to apply a portion of the property taxes collected within the redevelopment project area to the rehabilitation or reconstruction of commercial and industrial buildings, housing and public facilities, the development of new public and private facilities, and the planning for such facilities.

Although redevelopment plans are funded by tax dollars, no new taxes are assessed for their work. Instead, the plans are funded by a “tax increment,” which represents a percentage of the property taxes already paid. Once a redevelopment plan is established, the taxes remain the same, and the redevelopment agency will get a percentage of taxes from property improvements.

“Basically, redevelopment is a financing mechanism,” Senior Planner Elizabeth Eddins said. “It is a way to direct money back into the community, so we can create more incentives for private property owners to reinvest in upgrading their properties”

Eddins said redevelopment can be implemented in a number of different ways.

“One example would include helping front the cost for a parking facility downtown, which would be paid for over time by revenue collected at the parking facility,” she said. “It could also provide interest-free loans to upgrade properties, or front the costs for sidewalks, streetlights or bike lanes.”

For example, Eddins said one of the goals of the Downtown Specific Plan is a downtown square with a park. She said redevelopment funds could assist with that project as well.

“There are a whole range of mechanisms available,” Eddins said. “Ultimately, the town council acting as the redevelopment agency will be deciding how the money will be spent once it becomes available.” She said it would be too speculative at this time to determine how much redevelopment money will be available for specific projects.

“The revenue stream will not be substantial until about five years from now,” Eddins said. “Then we will have to see what conditions and priorities exist.”

She stressed that the redevelopment plan is a financing mechanism and a tool, which will be used to implement the Truckee General Plan and the Downtown Specific Plan.

“It is a very powerful tool to help rejuvenate Truckee,” Eddins said.

Nevada County officials have expressed concern about Truckee’s redevelopment project, claiming that it will divert $2.5 million in sales taxes from the county. County Administrator David Brennan and other officials will present their concerns at the hearing tonight.

Specifically, the Redevelopment Project Area includes:

The Union Pacific Railroad properties to the east of the downtown area, including the balloon track area. The property was the former site of a lumber mill and storage area for lumber products as well as a storage area for railroad equipment. It is essentially vacant with some storage of materials at the site.

The older residential properties in the center of the town north of Donner Pass Road. This includes all of the properties starting from the extension of Jibboom Street and Church Street on the east to the intersection of High Street and the Interstate 80 underpass on the west.

The residential and industrial properties one East and West River Street north of the Truckee River and the properties on South River Street and East South River Street.

The residential area adjacent to the Hilltop area, especially the properties near Palisades Drive and Hill Top Lodge.

The commercial properties in the center of the town on Donner Pass Road from Trout Creek Road on the east to the intersection of Donner Pass Road and the Interstate 80 underpass on the west.

The commercial and mixed use areas fronting Donner Pass Road from the Interstate 80 intersection on the west to Cold Stream Road on the east.

The area designated as PC-1 in the General Plan at Coldstream Road and Deerfield Drive, the site of an abandoned gravel pit and processing facility.

Sierra Sun E-mail: sun@tahoe.com

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