Local Election Projections for Contested Races

NORTH TAHOE

Elections haven’t been officially called for local campaigns as of press deadline. Thus, for contested local elections only, candidates below were in the lead as of election week. For full election coverage as the races continue to be called, read Keep it Together.

  • Incline Village General Improvement District board of directors: Matthew Dent*, Sara Schmitz*, Michaela Tonking
  • North Tahoe Public Utility District board of directors: Narrow margin at press time
  • Town of Truckee Town Council:
    • Full term: Courtney Henderson, Lindsay Romack
    • Short term: Jan Zabriskie
  • Truckee Donner Public Utility District board of directors: Narrow margin at press time
  • Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District board of directors: Mark Tanner*, Jason Hansford*
  • Truckee Tahoe Airport District board of directors: Narrow margin at press time
  • Measure K: Yes

* Incumbent

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~ AH

Town Adopts STR and Noise Ordinance

TRUCKEE

On Oct. 13, Truckee’s town council voted to adopt a new short-term rental and noise ordinance. The purpose of the ordinance is to create rules to address nuisance issues associated with STRs. It also creates the framework to register STR operators and enforce the new regulations. The full ordinance is available at townoftruckee.com/STR_regs.

An annual STR registration certificate and fee will be required for all STRs operating in Truckee, beginning Jan. 1, 2021. Regulations put forth in the ordinance include occupancy limits, on-site paved parking requirements, a minimum of two-can trash service, and interior posting requirements. Homes registered for short-term rental will be required to install a bear resistant trash enclosure by Oct. 31, 2021. New town-wide noise regulations, including quiet hours between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m., will also be imposed.

To ensure compliance with fire codes and defensible space regulations, each short-term rental will be required to complete an annual self-certification and a Truckee Fire Protection District inspection once every three years.

Planning for ordinance implementation and enforcement has begun and the registration program is set to go live in December.

~ Town of Truckee press release

Accidental Fentanyl-Related Overdose Deaths on the Rise

NEVADA COUNTY

A dramatic increase in the number of accidental drug-related overdoses and deaths due to fentanyl is occurring in Nevada County. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine, but is 50 to 100 times more potent. Fentanyl may be added to drugs, is sometimes present in counterfeit drugs, and, because of its potency, can lead to an overdose very quickly. In 2019, Nevada County had zero accidental overdose deaths due to fentanyl. So far this year, there have been 10.

These fatalities could possibly have been prevented, and the Nevada County Public Health Department hopes to support the community in avoiding additional ones. Various county departments and local organizations offer free resources to help prevent accidental overdose opioid deaths, including due to fentanyl.

For more information on fentanyl use and overdose prevention, please visit mynevadacounty.com/fentanyl.

~ Nevada County press release

Planning Commission Denies Extension on Hotel Avery Application

TRUCKEE

The Town of Truckee planning commission members unanimously voted to deny an extension of the Gertrude Holdings, LLC/JMA Ventures Hotel Avery development application. The commission’s decision did not consider the merits of the project. Rather, the appellant has not responded in a timely manner during the planning process and the commission’s vote allows the application to go inactive. The appellant can file a new application with the town despite inactivity.

Gertrude Holdings/JMA Ventures requested two 90-day extensions prior to the planning commission’s Oct. 20 decision: on March 9 and on June 12, both of which were granted. Truckee’s development code does not allow for a third extension, and the appellant appealed this.

Grant Keeney, an associate with JMA Ventures, presented for the appellant and stated the third extension as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on project modifications.

If the appellant chooses to resubmit the application with new features or a change in development, the process would begin anew. On March 24, 2020, the appellants shared with planning staff that a hotel will likely not be pursued; on Aug. 25, they discussed a possible residential project, which would include affordable housing.

Planning commission members centered their decision for denial around the idea that an extension would not provide full benefits.

~ AH

OUTSIDE THE BOX: Marianne Bartley paints a bear box as part of the Sierra Parks Foundation’s Bear Box Art Fundraiser. Photo courtesy the Sierra Parks Foundation

Bear Box Art Fundraiser

TRUCKEE/NORTH TAHOE

The Sierra State Parks Foundation has joined forces with its local artist community for a unique Bear Box Art Fundraiser with the goal of raising funds to support the foundation’s mission, support local artists and art scene, and beautify Lake Tahoe one bear box at a time. For a donation of $500, the Sierra State Parks Foundation will match donors with one of its partnered artists and help facilitate having one side of the bear box painted in the style of the donor’s choosing. Three hundred dollars of each donation will go directly to the Sierra State Parks Foundation, which provides funding to eight California state parks at Lake Tahoe and Donner Lake.

To learn more and sign up, visit sierrastateparks.org.

~ Sierra State Parks Foundation

Students Get Critical Connection for Distance Learning

TRUCKEE

Significant challenges facing our local schools, students, and families continue as Tahoe Truckee Unified School District navigates the complexities of distance learning, and now a partial re-opening. TTUSD’s leadership and staff have been working diligently to effectively serve the needs of every student despite the numerous challenges posed by distance learning.

TTUSD had identified several communities within Truckee with significant student populations, where access to the internet was a barrier for the students to access the high-quality education they deserve. Truckee Donner Public Utility District became aware of this critical community need and reached out to the school district to collaborate on a solution.

TDPUD determined that it was possible to repurpose existing equipment to set up temporary free Wi-Fi hotspots for student access at critical locations in Truckee. The first location for the temporary free Wi-Fi hotspots will serve househoulds of approximately 25 families with students attending TTUSD. The free Wi-Fi hotspot installations are using TDPUD equipment mounted on TDPUD’s electric poles.

~ TTUSD, TDPUD press release

North Lake Tahoe Visitor Center undergoes name change

INCLINE VILLAGE

The North Lake Tahoe Visitor Center, operated by the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau, will be renamed to the D.G. Menchetti Visitor Center, honoring the legacy of longtime community leader Geno Menchetti. During a celebration of life ceremony on Sunday, Nov. 1, the announcement was made by Michael Murphy, board president of the Incline Village Crystal Bay Visitors Bureau.

Menchetti’s service to North Lake Tahoe spanned nearly four decades; he was a founding board member of IVCBVB when the organization began in 1991 and also served as chairman of the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival. His extensive list of community accomplishments includes establishing the D.G. Menchetti Young Shakespeare Program to introduce young audiences to the works of Shakespeare and serving as president of both the Incline Village Rotary Club and the Tahoe-Incline Rotary Club. His most significant contribution to rotary was establishing the Geno Fund over 23 years ago, which continues to help local families in need. Menchetti was chair emeritus of the Pet Network Humane Society and appointed by Washoe County to serve on the Reno Tahoe Airport Authority, where he volunteered for six years and was chairman in 2000. He also served as director of the Reno Air Race Foundation and Reno Air Race Association.

~ North Lake Tahoe Resort Association press release

Shane McConkey EcoChallenge Launches 20/21 Program

OLYMPIC VALLEY

In 2013, the Shane McConkey EcoChallenge was established, empowering students from across the nation to participate in long-term environmental stewardship. The goal? To protect the planet through actionable solutions that are driven by the very generation who will inherit it. Through team building, critical thinking, and problem-solving, results of the EcoChallenge have shown an overwhelming dedication to the betterment of our planet from kids, teachers, and parents.

Students form teams and identify an environmental problem in their school or community. From there, teams outline solutions and take real action to make a positive impact. They are encouraged to call on local government agencies, media, and influential voices to make their problem and solution heard. Past EcoChallenge winners have installed low-flow sinks and toilets, collected plastic lids for benches and eco-bricks, established composting systems, and eliminated styrofoam packaging from school cafeterias.

To date, the Shane McConkey Foundation and its sponsors, supporters, and donors have raised over $550,000 for charitable causes and organizations. Learn more at shanemcconkey.org/shane-mcconkey-ecochallenge.

~ Shane McConkey Foundation press release

National Forest Restrictions Extended

CALIFORNIA

Fire restrictions statewide were extended by the USDA Forest Service through Nov. 6 while Tahoe National Forest extended the prohibitions on dispersed camping through Nov. 30.

Fire restrictions up through the beginning of November included: No Smoking; no building, maintaining, attending or using a fire, campfire, or stove fire; the use of a portable lantern or stove using gas, jellied petroleum, or pressurized liquid fuel within a Developed Recreation Site (such as an official campground) is allowed; generators are allowed for use within staging areas, developed recreation sites, and within open campgrounds.

In a separate Forest Closure Order, the Tahoe National Forest continues to prohibit dispersed camping, currently through Nov. 30, but with the caveat that it may be rescinded earlier “depending upon conditions.” This prohibition includes: No camping outside of developed campgrounds. “There are two exceptions to this prohibition,” according to the forest service press release. “Dispersed camping within the Granite Chief Wilderness is allowed. Dispersed camping within 500 feet of the Pacific Crest Trail is allowed.”

A list of open Tahoe National Forest campgrounds can be found here: fs.usda.gov/detail/tahoe/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD725833

~ USFS press release

Collaboration to Install Over 100 Bike Racks in Town Centers

LAKE TAHOE

With a grant from the Tahoe Fund and matching contributions from local businesses, the nonprofit Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition completed the third phase of its efforts to create secure bike parking within the Tahoe Basin. The bike coalition purchased and installed 100 bike racks in high-priority spots near town centers and one public bike repair station around Tahoe this summer, offering parking for 200 bicycles. In total, the bike coalition and Tahoe Fund have teamed up to provide access to 450 bike racks at outdoor recreation locations, area businesses, and community hotspots all around the lake since 2018, offering secure parking for up to 900 bikes.

An interactive map of existing rack locations can be found online at tahoebike.org/bike-parking.

~ Tahoe Fund, Lake Tahoe Bicycle Coalition press release

Placer County approves Resort Triangle Transportation Plan

KINGS BEACH

Placer County has taken a step forward on sustainable transportation in its eastern region with the board of supervisors unanimously voting in support of the Resort Triangle Transportation Plan.

The plan is intended to provide a unified local vision for North Lake Tahoe’s three main transportation corridors, state routes 28, 89, and 267 as well as adjacent communities, which make up the area’s ‘Resort Triangle’ between Placer’s lakeside communities, mountain resorts, and the Town of Truckee.

It prioritizes programs that reduce traffic, get people out of their cars, encourage alternative commuting options, and address congestion. Proposed programs and projects in the plan include a transit-only lane for the state route 89 and 267 corridors, a paid-parking program, a micro-transit program, and more.

Placer County staff will now develop an implementation plan for accomplishing the RTTP goals and present it for the board’s consideration in the coming months.

The RTTP was funded through the state’s Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account — Sustainable Communities Grant Program, established with revenue from California’s 2017 gas tax measure, Senate Bill 1.

~ Placer County press release

Fee Program Aimed at Boosting Affordable Housing in Placer County

KINGS BEACH

Facing escalating housing affordability challenges, the Placer County board of supervisors has adopted a new affordable housing inclusionary requirement and fee program to help advance Placer’s affordable housing initiatives.

The county’s new affordable housing ordinance establishes a requirement on private housing developments larger than 100 units for 10% of the development’s units to be in the affordable range and an in-lieu fee option for fulfilling that requirement. Developments with between eight and 100 units would have the option to instead pay an in-lieu fee of $2 per square foot of building area.

It also establishes a new employee accommodation fee for nonresidential development in the Sierra Nevada and Lake Tahoe areas.   

The ordinance takes effect Jan. 1, 2021.

Residential projects with seven units or less and developments in an ‘infill’ area or near major public transit stops would be exempt from the inclusionary requirements. 

~ Placer County press release

Tahoe Forest Hospital Outpatient Lab Services Moving to New Location

TRUCKEE/NORTH TAHOE

Tahoe Forest Hospital announced its outpatient lab services relocated to a new space, effective Monday, Oct. 19.

Outpatient lab services moved from the main laboratory inside the hospital to the medical office building at 10956 Donner Pass Rd., Suite 260, in Truckee. The hours of operation for the outpatient lab at the new location are Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Appointments for lab work can be scheduled through Tahoe Forest Health System’s online scheduling at tfhd.com/lab or by calling (530) 582-6510.

~ TFH press release

One Man’s trash: Staff and board members of the Truckee Donner Public Utility District gathered in mid-October to clean up the roads and shore of Donner Lake. Photo courtesy the TDPUD

Local Agency Participates in Clean-Up

DONNER LAKE

The Truckee Donner Public Utility District’s staff and board of directors participated in a community clean-up day in mid-October. This hands-on effort by over 70 people involved the clean-up of portions of the state park, roads, and over six miles of shoreline around Donner Lake.

The visual result was a cleaner neighborhood and a large TDPUD dump truck full of trash. Common items found included cigarette butts, beer cans and bottles, plastic water bottles, paper products, and other discarded items. For those participating, it was an opportunity to celebrate everyone’s hard work, rejuvenate, and help our community.

The TDPUD community clean-up event was organized in partnership with the town’s Truckee Litter Corps program. The town provided maps of the clean-up area, safety vests, trash bags, and tools to pick up the trash. The idea for the action came organically through the ranks and was originated by local TDPUD employee Regina Cooley.

~ TDPUD press release

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