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Hoping for a compromise

Peter Kostes

Last week’s column elicited a number of phone calls and conversations concerning the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation’s initiative to limit the scope of Planned Community 2 (PC-2) north of the Interstate 80-Highway 89 interchange.

First off, a clarification of something said in this space a week ago. I unintentionally referred to the Safeway “complex” as comprising of approximately 50,000 square feet of commercial space. What I meant was the Safeway store itself. Sorry for the confusion.

As several of you noted, including my friend Tom Watson of Truckee River Associates which manages the entire shopping center, the Safeway complex is 106,795 square feet on approximately 20 acres. That compares to MAPF’s contention that PC-2’s 50 acres of approved commercial area could accommodate 175,000 square feet of retail space.

Judging from the people who contacted me, there is indeed a move afoot to organize formal opposition to MAPF’s initiative. A major concern was a strong desire for continued negotiations between MAPF, the developers and the town to find a middle ground on PC-2.

Interestingly, last week MAPF agreed to postpone submitting its petition for another two weeks following a request from town council.

Because Boca Sierra Estates, which has not been formally submitted to the town for review, must face a lengthy specific plan process of a year or more, some believe the initiative should be postponed.

The reasoning goes that if that middle ground can’t be reached, MAPF would still have the option of pursing a ballot initiative.

Although that sounds reasonable, one has to wonder if MAPF and its initiative proponents are willing to gamble losing momentum the initiative has gained if a vote is postponed a year or more.

One hopes the two sides and the town can develop a compromise, especially as the debate becomes increasingly heated.


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