MAPF clarifies PC-2 concerns | SierraSun.com
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MAPF clarifies PC-2 concerns

Steve Frisch, Guest column

The Mountain Area Preservation Foundation (MAPF) is a community based non-profit corporation dedicated to the development of public policy which will encourage efficient growth, a diversified economy, investment in social capital and environmentally friendly development.

Our membership base, of approximately 300 families, businesses and individuals, is active in local affairs and shares a common desire to promote a community with high quality of life standards. With these goals in mind we have worked actively to promote policies which will encourage good air and water quality, public participation in planning, the availability of affordable housing, efficient transportation options, the preservation of open space and wildlife habitat, the preservation of historic assets and investments that promote pedestrian friendly growth.

MAPF strongly supports growth which meets these goals and has supported a variety of commercial and residential developments in the Truckee area. We recognize that Truckee is growing and welcome the challenges of making that growth serve to encourage a stronger community.

For several years MAPF participated in the public process that developed our General Plan. During that process we identified what we considered to be a flaw in the General Plan and sponsored a ballot initiative in 1997 to reduce the growth allowable for the site known as Planned Community 2 (PC-2). The initiative was controversial and vigorously debated in our community. MAPF was proud to sponsor the initiative, proud of our grassroots campaign and proud of the work that we did to inform the community of the critical issues involved. Unfortunately MAPF failed to carry the initiative by a margin of 178 votes of a total of 4018 votes cast. We were encouraged however by the high voter turnout and the fact that 1920 voters supported our position.

Since that time MAPF has been working through the public process to encourage the adoption of an environmentally sensitive plan for the PC-2 area.

The Town of Truckee and Pacific Management Consultants are currently working on an Environmental Impact Report to study the proposed development at PC-2. That process will have numerous opportunities for public comment and input, and we encourage all members of the community to participate.

MAPF has identified certain critical issues which we will be attempting to address during the EIR process. These issues include:

– the compatibility of the development with the General Plan

– status of a proposed middle school and whether that site will be donated unencumbered

– the scale and site of commercial development

– the link between commercial development and the need for affordable housing

– the link between the scale of development and the need for a connector road to Tahoe-Donner

– the pedestrian orientation of the development

– the impact of a golf course on wet lands, wildlife habitat and water quality

– traffic, air quality, noise and light impacts

– the impact of development on publicly financed infrastructure

During the 1997 initiative campaign several public officials assured the public that all reasonable options would be explored for the PC-2 area. With that in mind MAPF recently submitted a request to the Town that several lower growth alternatives be studied as part of the Environmental Impact Report. This is the appropriate time to be studying those options under the EIR process, and the promise that they be studied should be honored. We will be actively supporting the compilation of data that will give the citizens of Truckee the ability to make a rational choice on the appropriateness of the development at PC-2.

Most people know what they want in a community. The question of how to balance growth with the needs and goals of the community is a rising issue on the American scene. For years we have idealized communities that we can walk in, with a place for all socio-economic groups, that promote diversity and economic opportunity. Public studies have shown that most people desire a livable community that protects open space and works in harmony with the environment. People just don’t have a handle yet on how to get there. For years public process has encouraged development that divides and diminishes community rather than supporting and encouraging positive growth. Government will only respond to the will of the people if they voice their concerns and provide viable options. Today we have an opportunity to present those options and an obligation to seek a better way.


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