Stronger Laws Proposed to Help Wildfire Survivors with Insurance Claims
Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones and legislators from wildfire-damaged communities across the state unveiled eight bills (six of which have already been introduced) and two additional legislative proposals on Jan. 16 designed to strengthen consumer protections for wildfire survivors making insurance claims. The fires of 2017, including the North Bay fires that destroyed and damaged 21,000 homes, have underscored the challenges homeowners face when trying to navigate the insurance claims process. Info: insurance.ca
Jibboom Street Project Proposal
On Jan. 16, Sean Whelan and Dale Cox Architects submitted an application to the Town of Truckee for the Jibboom Street Project. The project proposes the development of a 40-unit hotel, 24 townhome units and eight, 900 square foot cottages, slatted at 10060 Jibboom Street (currently the free parking lot), totaling 1.02 acres. The submittal is currently being reviewed by the Town of Truckee planning division to determine if it’s complete. Once complete, a Notice of Submittal will be mailed to all property owners within 500 feet of the project site and a meeting with the Town of Truckee’s Historic Advisory Commission (HPAC) will be scheduled. Info: townoftruckee.com
North Lake Tahoe Athletes Heading to PyeongChang 2018
Competitive excellence runs deep in Tahoe/Truckee. This year, three locals represent the United States in the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, all in Alpine Skiing — Stacy Cook (born in Truckee), Bryce Bennett (Tahoe City local and Squaw Valley Ski Team Member), and Mark Engel (Truckee local, Tahoe Donner ambassador, and Sugar Bowl Academy alumnus). Info: teamusa.org
Placer Program Offers Free Tax Assistance
For the third year, Placer County health and human services are providing free tax assistance to low-income individuals and families. The program is in cooperation with the IRS and United Way, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Free tax preparation assistance by trained volunteers will be available to qualifying individuals and families who earned $54,000 or less in 2017. Free online tax assistance is also available for individuals and families who earned less than $67,000 or less in 2017, at myfreetaxes.com. The VITA program will run at North Tahoe Family Resource Center, Kings Beach through April 12. Info: 530-546-0952, email@example.com
Placer Supports Schaffer’s Mill Workforce Housing
On Jan. 10 the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to support a grant application that would help fund the Schaffer’s Mill workforce housing project. The project would build a 56-unit apartment complex and improved transit services including four electric-powered buses. The board’s action allows the county to enter into a memorandum of understanding with the project’s developer, Neighborhood Partners, which is applying for $16.6 million in grant funding from the State of California Affordable Housing and Sustainable Communities Program. Under the agreement the county will use $3.5 million of the funding to purchase buses. $726,000 is earmarked to build a portion of the Martis Valley multi-purpose trail, and $1.5 million dedicated for transit and pedestrian facilities in Truckee. Info: placer.ca.gov/news
County Contracts BAE Urban Economics Inc. For New Affordable Housing Strategy
The Placer County Board of Supervisors approved a $186,860 contract agreement with BAE Urban Economics to develop a new affordable housing strategy. It will support the county’s housing work plan and a series of tasks approved by the Board of Supervisors on Aug. 8, 2017, aimed at addressing the housing crisis. The contract includes four main tasks: identify affordable housing needs and development opportunities; make recommendations about current housing standards and policies that may be hampering development; develop a site evaluation tool to determine the profitability of potential projects; and review recent state housing policy changes to ensure Placer’s policy remains consistent. Info: placer.ca.gov
BYLT Secures Protection of 857 Acres in Grouse Ridge
A deal between the Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Bear Yuba Land Trust (BYLT) now protects 857 acres within the Grouse Ridge non-motorized area of Nevada County. The area will be retained by PG&E with a perpetual conservation easement granted to BYLT. BYLT’s newest conservation easement is the first in a series of agreements with PG&E that will allow BYLT to grow from 12,000 to 20,000 acres by 2020. Info: bylt.org
Tahoe City Lodge Makes Major Step Forward
On Jan. 10 the Placer County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to approve a loan agreement with Kila Tahoe for the 60 remaining Tourist Accommodation Units (TAUs) the project required to build. The 118-unit lodge, North Lake Tahoe’s first new hotel in more than 50 years, is expected to generate close to $1.2 million a year in new tax revenue. Originally approved by the Board of Supervisors in December 2016, the lodge will redevelop an existing commercial property at 255 North Lake Boulevard with a 118-unit lodge, three buildings consisting of a mix of hotel suites, amenities, a restaurant, rooftop bar, and parking.
The New CAP Committee Seeks Grant Applications for Projects, Deadline March 30
The new Capital Projects Advisory Committee (CAP Committee) is seeking applications for projects that implement Tourism Master Plan (TMP) priorities and benefit communities located in eastern Placer County for the award of Placer County Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) funds. The deadline for project submittals is Friday, March 30, by noon. All information requested is mandatory unless otherwise indicated. Info: nltra.org/documents
Unfair Labor Charge Complaint Issued Against TTSA
The Public Employee Relations Board (PERB) issued a formal complaint to TTSA for unfair labor practices regarding efforts of employees in the agency to unionize. As a result of the complaint an informal conference was held on Jan. 16, 2018. PERB’s informal conferences are unrecorded meetings intended to make an effort to settle an unfair practice complaint by mutual agreements. According to Rick Thompson, lead organizer for International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, “The agency was unwilling to make any effort to compromise” at the conference, and a formal hearing is tentatively planned for late April in Sacramento.
Sierra Watch Files CEQA Related Suit Against Squaw Development
Sierra Watch submitted their opening brief in a court challenge to Placer County regarding approval of the Squaw Valley Village development on Jan. 17. The brief contends that because the county relied on a legally inadequate Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the project, its approval violated the California Environmental Quality Act. The brief also contends that the county rejected the EIR’s reduced-density alternative based on purported justifications that find no support in the record, and it refused to consider other environmentally superior alternatives proposed by the public. The court hearing is set for April 26.
South Lake Imposes Strict Regulations on Vacation Rentals
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE
The City of South Lake Tahoe’s City Council recently tightened regulations on the Vacation Home Rental (VHR) Ordinance which took effect on Dec. 22, 2017. Updates to the VHR Ordinance include: there will no longer be warnings; all code violations will result in a minimum $1,000 fine; if a VHR receives three fines within a 24-month period, they will lose their VHR permit; vehicles are not allowed to park on the streets of VHRs; no excessive noise is allowed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 8 a.m.; and other restrictions.
Partnership to Bring Expanded Broadband Services to Truckee
Expanded broadband services will be coming to Truckee in the near future, thanks to an agreement by Truckee Donner Public Utility District (TDPUD) and Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications (PST). The partnership allows PST to leverage existing cables put in place by TDPUD to bring faster internet services to commercial and eventually residential areas nearby. Tahoe Forest Hospital has been using the system since August, and PST is working to activate other accounts in the area in the near future. The area around Highway 89 North and Interstate 80 are well covered by PST services as well as the business districts, and residential areas may be served depending on the level of interest and the costs for PST to connect. Info: pst.coop