Truckee’s Royal Ridge not yet approved |

Truckee’s Royal Ridge not yet approved

Provided by West Haven Development GroupA rendering shows the Royal Ridge development proposed for the corner of Donner Pass Road and Northwoods Boulevard. The Truckee Planning Commission didn't decide on the development Wednesday, asking for more information from the developers.

While planning commissioners lauded Royal Ridge for its infill development, a list of concerns kept them from giving the project the OK Wednesday night.

Located on the northeast corner of Donner Pass Road and Northwoods Boulevard, the 8-acre project calls for about 23,000 square feet of commercial space, 48 townhomes, and 12 affordable condominiums.

“We’ve always talked about this as a cornerstone parcel,” said project representative Gavin Ball. “We think as a development and the mix of uses it fits perfectly.”

Ball said the project falls within preferred infill area, as well as the town’s redevelopment district, creating a dense, walkable community.

“This is not a big box, it’s not just commercial, and it’s not a golf course,” Ball said. “It’s been a long time in the making.”

But some commissioners took issue with what that density does to the site ” specifically the number of trees that would have to be cut down.

“This project has a number of great improvements, but I think Truckee deserves better,” said Planning Commissioner Kurt Reinkens, referring to the trees being removed. “I remember the public concern when the Safeway site was clear-cut on Earth Day.”

Commission Chair Bob Johnston also wanted to see more consideration given to green building practices.

Project manager Geno Ferreto said Energy Star homes will be an option, and suggested that by its nature, an infill project that promotes walking is more green than other project types.

The school district had concerns about traffic and pedestrian safety with the high school across the street, and the elementary school just down the road, said Todd Rivera, facilities planner and fiscal analyst for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District.

“I can see a lot more pedestrian traffic at that intersection, and that may be a safety concern,” Rivera said. “We think it’s a good project, we just think some things haven’t been looked at for traffic and safety.”

One part of the project that drew no concerns is the affordable housing, which includes 12 condominiums built on top of commercial buildings, all aiming for 80 percent of median income.

“We support the affordable component of this project,” said Tom Ballou of the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe.

In the end, the commission wanted the development team to come back with more information on tree removal, green building, and a number of other issues like snow storage and architecture before voting on the project.

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