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NEWS BRIEFS | January 11 - February 7, 2018

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Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

Denyelle Nishimori Promoted to Community Development Director for the Town of Truckee


Denyelle Nishimori has accepted the position of community development director for the Town of Truckee. Nishimori joins the board as the first female community director and brings over 15 years of responsible land use, environmental planning, design experience, and Truckee planning expertise. Prior, Nishimori was the Truckee town planner, and before that, the planning manager. She has been instrumental in the Railyard Master Plan, Joerger Ranch Specific Plan, and 2025 Truckee General Plan. Denyelle holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from UC Santa Barbara and a master’s degree in Planning from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Denyelle steps into the job recently held by current Town Manager, Jeff Loux, and formerly by John McLaughlin. Info:

Jenna Gatto Now Planning Manager for Town


The Town of Truckee welcomes Jenna Gatto as their new planning manager. Gatto is an 11-year veteran of the Truckee Planning Division and will manage the work of Truckee Planning and its seven staff members. Gatto has served as the Town’s senior planner since 2014, managing projects from the cannabis dialogue to working on streetscape improvement projects, the Town’s economic development strategy, and the trails and bikeways master plan update.

Kellie Cutler Executive Director for CATT


The Contractors Association of Truckee Tahoe (CATT) welcomed longtime Truckee resident Kellie Cutler as the new executive director, effective Jan. 1. Cutler will take over the administrative duties previously performed by Pat Davison, who serves as CATT’s government affairs manager. Cutler brings 17 years of nonprofit administrative and management experience from various organizations in the Reno Tahoe area, and will oversee CATT programs, such as the popular Job to Bid referral system and coordinate staff activities with committees and the board of directors. Cutler will assume the role of administrator for C.A.T.T. Community Project, CATT’s sponsored 501 c3 charitable organization. Info:

Mike Goar New Tahoe Region Vice President and Heavenly Chief Operating Officer


Vail Resorts has appointed Mike Goar as the new Heavenly Mountain Resort chief operating officer, with additional oversight of the company’s Kirkwood Mountain and Northstar California resorts. The appointment follows the announcement that Pete Sonntag is transitioning to become the new Whistler Blackcomb chief operating officer, replacing Dave Brownlie. Info:,


Insurance Commissioner Orders Lift of Fire Insurance Moratorium


Nearly half of California counties have housing rated at high or very high fire risk, yet as we reported in our October article The Great Insurance Pullout, homeowners all around the Basin and Truckee are seeing their homeowner’s insurance policies not renewed or premiums increasing as insurance companies try to minimize their risks with regards to wildfire. Government agencies both locally and statewide have taken notice, and on Dec. 27, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones ordered a “cease and desist order requiring the California FAIR Plan to terminate immediately the moratorium it initiated on writing new fire insurance coverage in wildfire-impacted areas and ordering the FAIR Plan to make its fire insurance products available to all eligible Californians in keeping with its statutorily mandated purpose.”

Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act Introduced to Protect Insurance Rights


Senator Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens) has formally introduced the Wildfire Safety and Recovery Act (Senate Bill 824) in response to a growing outcry from homeowners facing insurance cancellation and non-renewal after a record-setting storm of wildfires. The bill would prevent insurance companies from dropping or non-renewing customers following a wildfire disaster, require insurance companies to offer mitigation discounts and continued coverage to homeowners who make investments in wildfire safety, and require approval by the Department of Insurance before insurance companies reduce the volume of policies in high-risk areas, in order to minimize market disruptions for homeowners and communities. “The district really appreciates Senator Ricardo Lara and Placer County Supervisor Montgomery’s leadership on this important fire insurance issue that has impacted so many members of our community,” said North Tahoe Fire Protection District Fire Chief Michael Schwartz.

Town of Truckee Revises its Affordable Housing in-lieu Fees


The Town of Truckee adopted a resolution to update its affordable housing in-lieu fees on Nov. 14, based on data compiled by BAE Urban Economics. The Town hired BAE in March 2017 to provide economic consulting services, after it felt that the in-lieu fees at the time were not reflective of Truckee’s changing market. As of now, the affordable housing in-lieu fee shall be $79,680 $87,718 per affordable housing unit required. This methodology is based on current Town goals that 50 percent of the Town’s affordable housing resources should be allocated to the construction of high density rental units affordable to low-income households, and 50 percent should be allocated to the construction of high density for-purchase units affordable to moderate-income households. The fee for projects with six or less lots will rang be based on a sliding scale ranging from exemption for one-unit projects to $65,616 $78,946. According to the Town minutes, this scale was based on a desire to incentivize building of affordable housing instead of payments of the fee.

The NLTRA Wants Your Vote


During the Dec. 6 North Lake Tahoe Resort Association (NLTRA) meeting, the board made additional changes and voted to approve revisions to their bylaws. The proposed changes would expand the board of directors and revise the structure to ensure greater geographic and business diversity. The board has considered options for the new structure reflecting the current business membership and the growing needs of the community. The bylaw changes include: increasing the maximum number of board members from 11 to 17, upping “at-large” seats from 1 to 8, and including a mixture of designated, elected, and appointed seats. The board will discuss the proposed changes at the Jan. 10 meeting. Info:

Tahoe Forest Health Offers 3D Mammography Technology


Tahoe Forest Hospital’s Briner Imaging Center now offers Genius™ 3D Mammography™ exams designed by Hologic — a breakthrough technology in mammograms. Using advanced breast tomosynthesis technology, Genius exams significantly increase the detection of breast cancers, while simultaneously decreasing the number of women asked to return for additional testing. Info: (530) 582-6510

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Designated Official Training Site of U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team


U.S. Ski & Snowboard announced a five-year agreement with Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows on Dec. 21, designating the resort as an official training site of the U.S. Ski & Snowboard Team, gold certified club, a high-performance center, and development site. Squaw Alpine joins Mammoth Mountain, Deer Valley in Utah, Copper Mountain in Colorado, and Timberline Lodge in Oregon as one of only five official training sites across the country. As an official training site the resort will host U.S. team athletes for training sessions throughout the season. Info:

Sale of Northstar Home Breaks Records


Northstar saw its highest residential real estate transaction to date with the sale of Glades Lodge, an 8,000-square-foot private home overlooking Martis Valley. The sale closed in late December. The home was listed for $6.9 million. Glades Lodge is a contemporary ski-in/ski-out luxury property located within Northstar’s exclusive Mountainside neighborhood. David Gemme of Oliver Luxury Real Estate represented the sellers in the record-breaking sale.

Washoe County, TRPA Permitting Process Changes


Washoe County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) announced a change in the permitting process for projects in the Washoe County portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin on Dec. 15. Previously, Washoe County accepted and reviewed permit applications on behalf of TRPA. Now, projects in Washoe County must be submitted to TRPA planners. The TRPA will have a planner available one day a week at Washoe County’s Incline Community Center to accept and review project applications. The projects must meet conformance with TRPA regulations that apply to residential additions and modifications, new construction of single-family and multi-family residential structures, commercial projects, and qualified-exempt residential activities. Info:

Kirkwood Mountain Resort Fined for Violation of Clean Water Act


Kirkwood Mountain Resort was fined $754,732 for illegally dumping asphalt pavement shavings into Kirkwood Creek tributary and wetlands — a violation of the federal Clean Water Act. Kirkwood agreed to pay the fine without admitting liability. The asphalt grindings were used to resurface unpaved parking lots, and ended up in the streams and wetland during snow removal procedures. According to the Central Valley Regional Quality Control Board, investigators determined between 900 and 1,840 cubic yards of asphalt material were found in the creek and wetlands in 2016.

Gone to Mars


Extraterrestrials, welcome to Nevada. The latest outreach campaign from the Nevada Division of Tourism (TravelNevada) includes a travel itinerary for seeking extraterrestrial life forms. The 487-mile itinerary across southern Nevada includes the Extraterrestrial Highway in Lincoln County, the community of Rachel, and home of the Little A’Le’Inn. Other attractions on the itinerary include Valley of Fire State Park in Overton (the sandstone formations evoke the landscape of Mars) and the town of Pahrump, where Martians land in the 1996 film Mars Attacks!. This latest outreach by TravelNevada is to promote statewide tourism and the economic vitality of Nevada. Info:

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December 13, 2018