Grand Jury Report Critiques Placer County’s Affordable Housing Efforts
A June 20 Placer County Grand Jury report has found that while Placer County has “taken positive steps to address the issue of affordable housing,” the current solution to addressing affordable housing in unincorporated Placer County is “inadequate” and the jury believes that “further actions are necessary.” These actions specifically involve considering a department/unit to address affordable housing, cleaning up the county’s in-lieu fee structure, simplifying the developer process, and focusing future forums on local developments and affordable alternatives. Placer Deputy CEO-Tahoe Jennifer Merchant told Moonshine Ink, “All of the recommendations that are in that grand jury report are addressed in what we’re thinking about tackling next year in one way or another.” Info: placer.courts.ca.gov/grandjury/2017-2018/2017-2018_COMPLETE_FINAL_REPORT.pdf
Record Low Lake Clarity Announced
UC Davis Tahoe Environmental Research Center released its annual lake clarity report on June 13, reporting its finding of an average of 59.7 feet depth of clarity is the lowest since it began taking measurements in the 1960s. The report highlighted the combination of historic drought and one of the wettest winters on record as key factors contributing to low lake clarity last year. California Secretary for National Resources John Laird, and Nevada Director of Conservation of Natural Resources Bradley Crowell co-wrote a letter to the Tahoe Science Advisory Committee asking it to conduct further review of the clarity study to help better understand the damage and protect the lake clarity.
Tahoe-Pyramid Trail at 80 Percent Completion
With the final section of trail from Lake Tahoe to Reno being built in the Truckee Canyon, the no-profit group behind the Tahoe-Pyramid Bikeway has changed its name to the Tahoe-Pyramid Trail. This name change commemorates the completion of 80 percent of the overall trail from Lake Tahoe to Pyramid Lake. Another reason for the name change is to highlight the trail’s uses outside of biking. While most people identify a bikeway as being paved, the Tahoe-Pyramid route is not paved outside of urban areas. As it follows the Truckee River on its 114-mile journey, the route is paved through Reno, Sparks, on the Legacy Trail east of the town of Truckee, along Highway 89, and from Squaw Valley to Tahoe City. Everywhere else, the trail is on a dirt road or path. The remaining gaps in the trail lie east of Sparks.
Community Arts Center Park Coming to Truckee
The Community Arts Center got a facelift in 2014, with a $200,000 “aesthetic makeover,” and now the area outside of the center will turn a new leaf as well, with the creation of a public park. The upcoming Downtown Community Park is scheduled to break ground late this summer and will create a community gathering space between the arts center and Alibi Ale Works in Truckee. Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District is donating the land, and Mark Tanner Construction and High West Landscape Architects are responsible for construction and design. The building costs are being covered by private donations and fundraising efforts.
Town Council Votes to Pursue Negotiations with County Over Library
The Truckee Town Council voted on June 12 to pursue negotiations with Nevada County regarding the Town taking over control of the Truckee Library and making considerations based on a feasibility study conducted over the past few months. The Town will now conduct negotiations through a council member, explore next steps and potentially the cost of a new library, and determine the best level of involvement in future library operation.
Conservancy Fulfills Development Rights Quota for Hotel Redevelopment
The California Tahoe Conservancy board approved the sale and transfer of up to two residential development rights for use in the Kings Beach Town Center on June 22. The rights will be used by Wood Vista Lodge to transform an old, dilapidated motel into condominiums. Conservancy Deputy Director Jane Freeman said the rights are from a bank of such rights, traded and used similarly to tourist accommodation units, and that they will fulfill the seven total rights needed by Wood Vista to commence building. According to the conservancy, the sale consolidates development rights into a more urbanized area, helping implement the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency’s Regional Plan.
Truckee Introduces Talk of the Town
The Town of Truckee has introduced several summer forums to discuss town issues and clarify questions. Talk of the Town will consist of two-way, informal listening sessions welcoming all Truckee residents and business leaders to interact with council members and the Town manager. The Town asks,“please no politicking, keep it respectful, and bring your best ideas, passionate interests, and toughest questions to an open and transparent dialogue.” The first session was held Thursday, June 28, with two more planned for July 25 and Aug. 29 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Philosophy in Truckee.
IVGID Launches New Community Survey Platform
Incline Village General Improvement District recently launched CBIV Community Engagement, an online platform designed to engage citizens in a conversation about important IVGID projects and issues. The first survey topic question on IVGID’s website is “How can IVGID improve its public communication and outreach methods to more effectively inform and engage the community?” and had 359 visitors at the time of this writing. The creation of the CBIV platform follows IVGID’s termination of a prior survey collection contract with Incline Village-based FlashVote in December 2016. Info: yourtahoeplace.com/ivgid/resources/cbiv-community-engagement
Housing Choice Vouchers Program Opens Waitlist
TRUCKEE/NORTH LAKE TAHOE
On Monday, June 25, the Regional Housing Authority (RHA) opened its waitlist for the Housing Choice Voucher (HVC) program, formally known as Section 8 vouchers. The HVC program assists low and moderate income families and individuals to secure affordable housing in the private rental market by subsidizing rent based on income. The waiting list is organized by preference points, not by the date the application is submitted, and names are selected in order of preference through a random lottery. Preferences include things like: families or individuals currently homeless or living in substandard housing, paying more than 50 percent of their income in rent, or being “involuntarily displaced” from housing. The participant is free to choose any housing that meets the requirements of the program and is not limited to units located in subsidized housing projects. Info: regionalha.org/programs/housing-choice-voucher/applicants
TahoeTruckeeTransit.com Website Launched
TRUCKEE/NORTH LAKE TAHOE
Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association (TNT/TMA) launched its newly upgraded tahoetruckeetransit.com website on June 19. It’s mobile friendly, has a trip planner, an interactive map, up-to-the-minute service alerts, posted schedules for each route, and more. Info: tahoetruckeetransit.com
Save Our Schools Renewal Measure to be on November Ballot
The Tahoe Truckee Unified School District’s Board of Education unanimously approved on June 20 a resolution to place the Save Our Schools Renewal Measure on the November 2018 ballot. If enacted, the measure would renew existing, voter-approved funding first established in 1989, and would continue to fund programs underfunded by the state, such as music, art, technology, physical and science education, honors and advanced placement classes, as well as college and career preparation. The $148 annual parcel tax renewal measure would continue to accrue locally-controlled funds that cannot be taken by the state and would include strict fiscal accountability requirements including independent citizen oversight and annual audits. No funds could go to administrative salaries or benefits. Info: ttusd.org
Bonnie Gore New District 1 Supervisor
Attendees at future Placer County Board of Supervisors meetings will notice a new face, as Roseville Vice-Mayor Bonnie Gore ousted eight-year Placer County Supervisor Jack Duran for the District 1 seat this June. Gore, who currently serves on the Roseville City School District Foundation board and was the Lighthouse Counseling and Family Resource Center founding chairwoman, won the election with 62 percent of the vote.
New Election Format Meets with Success
For the June 2018 Primary Election, Nevada County was one of five counties in the state chosen to pilot a series of voting changes approved by voters in 2016. The changes included transitioning almost completely to mail-in ballots. A few in-person polling locations were still available, but the county found that 95 percent of votes were submitted by mail. Additionally, a near record of 57.03 percent of eligible voters cast ballots, a full 12.45 percent more than in the 2014 gubernatorial election. The ballots were also counted by 5 p.m. on June 20, two weeks earlier than ever before.