Truckee Town Council delays approval of General Plan; will decide on May 9 |

Truckee Town Council delays approval of General Plan; will decide on May 9

TRUCKEE, Calif. — The Truckee Town Council last week voted to delay adoption of the 2040 General Plan after hearing from community members that felt they weren’t being heard. 

The council spent almost nine hours over two days last week taking public comment, asking questions and having a robust discussion on the General Plan. 

Several questions and concerns were raised by the public during the Tuesday, April 11, meeting that led to the council making changes to the plan during the Thursday, April 13, meeting. 

For example, the council agreed to move water conservation efforts from midterm to near term, meaning they will be addressed in 2024. They also agreed to change the vision statement to say “residents” instead of “full-time residents.” 

Another point of discussion during the Thursday meeting was the Tahoe Forest Hospital plan update. A column by Harry Weis, Tahoe Forest Hospital District President and CEO ran in the Sierra Sun on Wednesday, April 12, asking why the town was leaving the hospital out of its planning process. 

Councilmembers were upset by the implication of the opinion piece. The hospital had submitted a plan update that was deemed incomplete by town staff in January. They have since resubmitted a plan but it hasn’t yet gone through the formal review process. 

Councilmember Anna Klovstad works with the hospital board and felt Weis’ comments did not reflect conversations she’d had with the hospital board. 

“The town has no intention in stopping care of the hospital to their patience or obstructing the hospital plan,” Klovstad said, adding the board should hold Weis accountable for the disintegration of trust between them and the Town. 

Councilmember Courtney Henderson said she felt the hospital plan should have its own public process so that the community could weigh in and Councilmember Jan Zabriskie agreed that it was worth sitting down with the hospital to work together on the plan. 

“We’re being a little presumptuous to say the five of us know what’s best for the hospital,” Zabriskie said. 

The council discussed several other topics of the General Plan, such as Zero Net Energy Standards, resource mapping, and West River Street land use designations. 

After several hours of discussion, the council ultimately decided to push adoption of the General Plan to May 9 to allow the public to continue weighing in. 

“I would like to be in a position to adopt the general plan but I am concerned about misunderstandings and perceptions of mistrust,” Zabriskie said. 

Council members did not want to have any formal meetings between now and then, especially Klovstad who said between being on the General Plan Advisory Committee and Town Council has attended 64 meetings on the topic. They did suggest Coffee Talks and informal meetings, especially with Mountain Area Preservation and Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe who shared several thoughts on the General Plan. 

Zabriskie has scheduled a meeting for 5:30 – 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, at Lift Truckee to hear feedback from the community on the General Plan.

Councilmember Dave Polivy expressed frustration that the General Plan has been in the works for several years but the community started weighing in during the final hours. He said if they were to delay the decision, he’d prefer delaying it for a longer time period. 

“A one month pause won’t change the trajectory,” Polivy said. 

The council voted 4-1 to delay the decision until May 9 with Polivy providing the no vote. 

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