Truckee’s Brickelltown redevelopment plans on hold during talks with railroad | SierraSun.com

Truckee’s Brickelltown redevelopment plans on hold during talks with railroad

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun
Courtesy illustration/John Pruyn, L+P DesignWorksA rendering of what Burger Me would look like with some streetscape improvements as part of the Brickelltown project.
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TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; Negotiations with Union Pacific Railroad have put Brickelltown improvements on hold, and a potentially shrunken budget could change how quickly they get done.

The town had been exploring ways to improve the western stretch of downtown along Donner Pass Road, called Brickelltown, with changes to the road alignment, parking, sidewalks and landscaping over the last several months.

However, a key part of that plan requires getting permission from Union Pacific to work within the railroadand#8217;s right of way, and so far, the town hasnand#8217;t gotten an answer, said Jenna Endres, associate planner with the town.

and#8220;We decided not to do additional work until we understand what theyand#8217;ll let us do,and#8221; Endres said.

Director of public works and engineering Dan Wilkins said the town wants to get within 25 feet of the railroad to allow space for more parking and sidewalks and#8212; as well as potentially shifting Donner Pass Road south.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s uncertain whether they will be willing or not, but theyand#8217;ve indicated theyand#8217;re willing to talk, to entertain the idea,and#8221; Wilkins said.

Truckee Town Council, acting as the Truckee Redevelopment Agency Board, also indicated it may want to reduce the projectand#8217;s budget from $6 million to $3.5 million.

That doesnand#8217;t mean improvements to Brickelltown wonand#8217;t get done, Wilkins said, but the project would be phased and take longer to complete.

Endres said the boardand#8217;s desire stems from wanting funding for a broader array of redevelopment projects, including projects working with private developers which could increase the agencyand#8217;s tax base.

One of the more costly items in plans for Brickelltown would be putting utility lines underground and#8212; an estimated $1 million and#8212; which could be put off by a shrunken budget, Endres said.

If everything goes well with Union Pacific Railroad, Endres said the planning process could start up again at the beginning of summer, with public workshops and meetings starting up again too.

Then if stakeholders in the Brickelltown area come to a consensus on the project, and a way to fund the maintenance of the new features, that could keep the planning process moving toward breaking ground summer 2011.

and#8220;Itand#8217;s a big and#8216;if,and#8217;and#8221; Endres said. and#8220;It depends on what the railroad is willing to do, and assuming we have the funding too.and#8221;