Housing equality | SierraSun.com

Housing equality

On April 19, 2007 the Truckee Town Council held a public hearing to consider the adoption of the affordable housing controls and inclusionary housing ordinances. In a previous letter to the Town Council and the Planning Commission I expressed some of my concerns with this burdensome ordinance. There are so many faults with this ordinance it’s impossible to discuss them all in one meeting. Therefore I will condense my input here into three major concerns.

Cost inequality: There’s a tremendous financial inequality for the cost of compliance between large and small projects. For example, a four-unit condominium would have a burden that would be as high as $40,000 to $50,000 per unit. A 600-lot subdivision might be able to comply with a cost of $4,000 to $7,000 per unit. This ordinance therefore favors large development and clustered large “project” type subsidized housing.

Needs assessment: The need for 15 percent subsidized housing isn’t proven. Recent events and projects in Truckee have shown that less people are applying for subsidized housing than originally thought. I believe the council should take a precautionary view and see how the East West projects rent out before passing an ordinance mandating more of the same.

Alternatives: Fee-based alternatives and lower-cost, market-rate projects weren’t considered or studied and should have been during this process. I feel that the council can zone certain properties, create development incentives and approve design guidelines that would allow for new homes to be sold in the $375,000 to $400,000 in the open market. Additionally, a fee-based program could be used to provide low- or no-interest trust deeds (or partnership ownership programs where the lending authority shares in the appreciation of the property upon sale) to enable home purchase by moderate- and low-income earners.

Everyone recognizes a need for a fair and equitable housing ordinance. The one that is under consideration is neither fair nor equitable for anyone other than the largest of projects in Truckee. –

Thomas W. Grossman

Truckee

Fluorescent light bulbs could be the key to saving our world. There are many benefits about them that people should know. Our world is currently suffering from global warming, but just changing from incandescent to fluorescent bulbs in our homes could help reduce the global warming process. Fluorescent bulbs conserve a great deal of energy, and by using these bulbs the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is reduced. Carbon dioxide is one of the gases responsible for the increased warmth of the earth. Therefore, when people buy and use fluorescent light bulbs, they are helping to reduce global warming as well as lowering their energy bill.

If every home in America exchanged one incandescent light bulb for a fluorescent light bulb, the country would save $8 billion in energy bills and eliminate 2-million-cars’-worth of greenhouse gas emissions. That is a huge number and only two simple steps are required to achieve such an accomplishment.

The first is to switch light bulbs and the second step is to publicize and promote the use of fluorescent bulbs. In a recent poll, the Reno-Tahoe area has only sold 500 energy-saving light bulbs in the past year and we need your help to increase that number. Fluorescent bulbs will last up to five times longer than a conventional bulb, but they do require proper disposal to reduce the chance of mercury entering the soil. Make the change and help save the world.

Tenaya Driller

Seventh grade

North Tahoe Middle School

I am absolutely appalled by the actions at Virginia Tech. This is the biggest mass shooting in America’s history. To think that Columbine wasn’t enough, now we high school kids have to worry about going to college, too. What’s next? Elementary schools? Middle schools? What would be the effect on Truckee if this kind of event happened at Alder Creek Middle School, Truckee High or Glenshire/Truckee elementary school? Does this mindless violence need to continue? Why do we feel that we are only happy if we are in the middle of a crisis? The war isn’t enough anymore; I guess we have to deal with American kids dying in our own “safe” country. This is an eye-opening experience that should have been seen when Columbine happened.

This has to be one of the worst events in American history. Next time we may not be so lucky as to have just one college or high school shot up. We are on our way to another civil war. What are we going to do: Drop nukes on the people we don’t want in our country? Why do we always feel the need for revenge and resent sadness and awareness? The police in this incident didn’t do anything. The boy shot himself to death because he couldn’t live with himself after killing all of those people.

Great job. The authorities have done the right thing yet again: “Stay back and don’t get shot.” We, as a town, need to realize that this can and will happen anywhere. I for one am sick of this country not being able to handle itself. We are at the peak of our “empire,” and we will fall because we are letting this kind of mindless violence occur. In closing, for those who are religious, pray for the Virginia Tech students and, for those who are non-religious, try to help the victims of this massacre.

Pat Forbes

Truckee