Truckee Town Council Councilmembers: Mayor Craig Threshie Richard Anderson Barbara Green Beth Ingalls Josh Susman December 16, 2004 ~ from Annie’s notes
Siller Ranch Update
Community Development Director Tony Lashbrook reported that Town staff and Placer County planning staff had convened today to discuss housing needs generated by the Martis Valley project Siller Ranch. Three additional meetings are scheduled as well, Mr. Lashbrook said.
The Town of Truckee appealed the Placer County Planning Commission’s approval of the Siller Ranch project based on the “lack of specifics in terms of how they intended to deal with their impact on the local employee and affordable housing situation,” Mr. Lashbrook said. The Placer County Board of Supervisors heard the appeal in October and continued the hearing to December, requesting that Placer County staff work with Town of Truckee staff to develop dialogue regarding housing needs generated by project developments, specifically Siller Ranch.
“Able testimony” provided in December by representatives of the Town and the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe convinced the Placer Board once again to continue the appeal hearing, and to reiterate the need for Placer staff to meet with Town of Truckee staff.
Highway 89 Dual Roundabout Project
Truckee Town Council awarded a $3.5 million contract to Burdick Excavation for construction of the dual roundabout project on Highway 89 at the on- and off-ramps of Interstate 80. Burdick Excavation agreed in August to extend its bid offer of $3.5 million for the project until December 31, at which time Town staff was to return after having sought additional funding and design modification approval from Caltrans.
Caltrans has agreed to some design modifications, Town Engineer Dan Wilkins said, which may result in cost reductions of about $200,000.
With Council’s approval tonight, the Town’s budget for the project will reflect that $3.640,966 has been allocated for the project, with $2.14 million to come from the Town’s AB1600 fund, $750,000 to come from Caltrans, $350,000 has been allocated for the project by the Nevada County Transportation Association, and another $396,000 in Bicycle Transportation Account funds has already been awarded for a project recently completed and already funded. The Town will seek Caltrans approval to transfer those funds to the roundabout project.
Burdick Excavation’s bid does not include the cost-reducing design modifications approved by Caltrans, Mr. Wilkins said: bid negotiations regarding plan modifications may begin only after the bid is awarded.
The dual roundabout project has been a priority project for the Town for three years, ever since Caltrans announced its intention to install traffic signals at those intersections. Truckee’s Town Council has consistently supported a no-traffic- signal approach to planning.
Downtown Parking Study
The primary issue Council should consider tonight regarding the Downtown Parking Study is “does the Town want to get into a new business?” Town Engineer Dan Wilkins said. That business would be off-street parking management. Parking tickets, towing cars: “It’s a thankless job,” he said.
The goals of the Downtown Parking Study included: 1) assessing existing parking conditions, 2) identifying Downtown parking demand, 3) projecting Downtown parking needs, and 4) examining parking management alternatives, including paid-parking versus assessment district formation, Associate Engineer Todd Landry said.
The first issue that needs to be considered, he said, is “Should the parking program be centrally managed?” The second issue is, if parking is to be centrally managed, “should the Town be the central authority or should a private parking authority handle the centralized management?”
The parking study also evaluated current Town standards regarding in lieu parking fees, with a recommendation that those fees increase from $5,634 per parking space not constructed. Staff is recommending the in lieu fees “should pay for actual construction,” Mr. Landry said, estimated at $9,700. The actual cost of land acquisition and construction of one Downtown parking space approaches $18,000, he said.
The Downtown Parking Study also indicates that Truckee’s Downtown parking generation estimates are high. Staff recommends the Town amend its rates for Downtown to reflect a 15 percent reduction for mixed use.
West River Street business owner Fred Zabell commented that parking on West River Street is quite different from parking on Commercial Row.
Without a safe pedestrian rail crossing, West River Street will not have the same foot traffic as Commercial Row, nor the same parking needs, he said. As the parking study demonstrates, the Downtown area is comprised of clusters of neighborhoods with different parking needs. An assessment district might be inequitable, Mr. Zabell said.
Mr. Zabell said he thought the Town should act as the parking management authority.
Downtown Merchants’ Association president Jerry Wood commented that Downtown merchants support paid parking. Mr. Wood said after years of studying parking Downtown and after serving on the Downtown Parking Committee, he believes the parking study underestimates paid parking’s potential revenue and overestimates potential costs. He believes the Town should oversee parking enforcement.
As many as 30 percent of parking spaces between Spring and Bridge Streets are occupied by employee vehicles, Mr. Wood said, and that lack of parking deters some who consider visiting Downtown.
Mr. Wood said current parking enforcement measures are not adequate.
Downtown Merchants Association member John Frazier suggested a parking system where a parking pass is purchased and displayed, rather than the Downtown installation of parking meters.
Truckee resident Bob Johnston said that some businesses Downtown sell specialty goods not available elsewhere, and people will pay to park and shop in those exclusive markets. Other businesses Downtown face competition outside the Downtown core and may suffer with the institution of paid parking. Mr. Johnston suggested a phased approach to paid parking implementation, and suggested a parking pass system for business owners and employees.
Councilmember Beth Ingalls said she would likely support a joint paid parking/ assessment district approach to address Downtown parking if the mechanism for such a scenario were clear.
Councilmember Josh Susman said he would support in lieu fees of $8,000, and paid parking should become less costly with distance from the Downtown core. He suggested dialogue with the railroad regarding Truckee’s parking needs and planning.
Councilmember Richard Anderson said a comprehensive residential parking plan for Downtown must be implemented before other parking plans are adopted. The Texaco, fire station and Andy’s Diner lots should be included in the program, he said. A subsidy for historic preservation projects should be available only if the project is infeasible without the subsidy.
Councilmember Barbara Green urged swift implementation of a parking management program, supporting paid parking in the Downtown core. She agreed with Councilmember Anderson that residents’ needs must be addressed.
increasing in lieu fees to $12,000. and like his fellow councilmembers supported reducing parking generation estimates Downtown by 15 percent.
Town Council directed staff to define the position of parking enforcement manager, identify a paid parking plan, including rates, signage costs and type of collection devices, and to consider the prioritization of the parking program.
Selection of New Town Manager
Town Council selected the executive search firm Bob Murray and Associates to conduct an executive search for a replacement of Truckee’s Town Manager Steve Wright. The final filing date for the position is March 4, 2005, with Council to begin screening candidates shortly thereafter.
Parks and Rec Land Grant
Town Council voted to allow the transfer of a 13-acre triangular parcel near Gray’s Crossing to the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District, upon the Town’s satisfaction that the parcel will be used for public benefit of a non-commercial nature.
The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is updating its long-term plans for the Tahoe Basin in a program called Pathway 2007. The Town of Truckee has requested a seat on the committee which will meet locally and in Las Vegas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Thus far, TRPA has not responded to Truckee’s request, but Town Council decided that Mayor Threshie will serve on the committee if invited to do so, and Councilmember Susman will serve as the alternate member of the committee.
Truckee resident Denny Dickinson said he supported the Town’s pursuit of a position on the committee. Acting Town Attorney Ken Ralston said the Town should approach TRPA again regarding a seat on the committee.
Additions to Workforce Housing Taskforce
As a result of the outcome of a November meeting to address housing issues in Truckee’s Latino community, Town Council appointed Marguerita Nevarez as primary representative on the Town of Truckee Workforce Housing Committee, with Elda Nunez to serve as the alternate representative of the Latino community. Council also voted that a Chamber of Commerce representative should also serve on the housing committee.
Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA)
The Truckee River Operating Agreement (TROA) is currently being negotiated, and as proposed, will allocate water rights within the Truckee River Basin in perpetuity: forever. The allocations do not necessarily favor Truckee or others upstream.
Town Council directed staff to ensure the Town’s comments on the TROA Environmental Impact Report/ Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/ EIS) reflect that the EIR/ EIS must present evidence to support the assumption that the TROA will have no significant environmental impacts.
Comments should also focus on the need for long-term biological assessment and monitoring of water quality, flows, temperatures and a program of reporting the data to assess the accuracy of the EIR/ EIS assumptions.
Council asked that Town Staff draft the comments to evoke a response, rather than serve only as a record of correspondence included with EIR/ EIS documents.