Readers Reflect December 2022

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In response to You Asked, They Answered item, Rising Homelessness, in November’s print edition

Truckee’s Artist Loft Not Safe

Funny how many non-locals with criminal records the Truckee Artist Lofts has moved in. Quite a few, I hear from a friend who lives there. She has been sexually harassed on numerous occasions by a mentally ill older guy who has a criminal past for sexual assault. He is from out of town and lives there for free! It really grinds my gears when we have so many good locals who need affordable housing, and they have filled that place up with bums from out of town.

~ Asia Crowder, Truckee, via Facebook

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In response to the online piece Amendments to Basin Area Plan Aim to Ease North Tahoe Development

Strong Towns/One Tahoe/Parking Management

The lion share of the proposed amendments is very encouraging for small business, incremental redevelopment, and more flexibility for new housing. We can have wonderful and interesting redevelopment in our town centers at the current height limit, and I don’t support a height increase. Having an area plan that updates and changes is a good thing; so is encouraging the planning staff to try new things and giving them room to learn from errors and expand upon successes.

For the folks concerned about environmental impact, I don’t think they always make enough connection on how vehicular access (volume of cars) and no parking management (abundant free parking) is to the environmental and quality of life concerns they have. I’d like to hear more talking points around the strong towns model of redevelopment in public meetings. The business land use at most scales in North Lake Tahoe, other than the handful of large projects with excessive parking lots, cannot be “seen” within the recreation use, day use, and commuting traffic.

That reality coupled with growing Truckee, Reno, Carson, Auburn, and Sacramento areas means more cars are coming to the Basin, regardless of in-town land uses. I’d love to see a revived discussion around One Tahoe and parking management as a follow-up to the proposed Tahoe Basin Area Plan Amendments.

~ Andrew Ryan, Truckee, via letter

Lots of Holes: More Work Required

As the plan heads into the approval process, familiar contention has surfaced: Economic stimulus versus protecting resources and existing community character was evidenced at the 3.5-hour NTRAC meeting on Nov. 30, with approximately 40 people in attendance and 20 on Zoom.

My question: Why is the process being fast-tracked? Placer County’s response: We’ve been working on this plan for two years. That begs the question: Why is the public only getting a few weeks to consume and comment on confusing and complex changes without examples?

County staff was asked to provide what a mixed-use project will look like, including how a 200- to 500-feet massing of a project will look, etc.

How will allowing more multi-family structures affect existing areas where they are mostly single-family now? Workforce housing is always a hot topic but confusing: Who is the targeted demographic? Parking standards were discussed and need more evaluation. No parking requirements for multi-family were recommended.

Other issues discussed included evacuation, which is always in the foreground. Adding more people exacerbates evacuation. New development versus redevelopment requires further discussion.

The public and NTRAC members were very clear that the current TRPA maximum of 56 feet is enough. Each project needs to be securitized by location and not just approved for maximum uses and heights.

Financial infeasibility was brought up by one developer who still hasn’t broken ground and has been given many incentives through original TBAP approval but still needs more. Fully 13 projects are already approved or under review. What more do we need?

Should the TBAP amendments require an environmental review? I say yes! What level of analysis: I suggest a Focused EIR. Too many significant changes are proposed and there is not enough time to evaluate. The county hasn’t even provided findings…?

In the end, NTRAC members seemed conflicted and struggled making a motion. It was not a unanimous vote.

~ Ellie Waller, Kings Beach, via letter

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