Placer County Land Deal Could Mean Added Housing


Downtown Kings Beach is on track for 45 more units of achievable workforce housing with the terms of a new land deal approved on Oct. 23 by the Placer County Successor Agency Board. Under the deal, Kings Beach Center LLC would pay $1.1 million for 10 vacant parcels on a 1.3-acre plot of land, known as the Eastern Gateway Property, to build mixed-use achievable housing and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. Kings Beach Center is also the developer currently working with the county to build a nearby hotel and mixed-use commercial venture. Projects in Eastern Placer County currently need to provide housing for 50 percent of their anticipated workforce. According to the county, any accommodation above the requirement in this project could possibly be sold to other developers to meet their workforce housing obligations or might eventually be banked by the county to be made available for future projects.


Ice Rink and Pavilion Moves Forward


Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District voted in late September to select MWA Architects to complete preliminary design and construction estimate of the Truckee Community Ice Pavilion Project (TCIPP). Interviews with strategic partners began in October and will last through December. The TCIPP hopes to work with both the town and the TDRPD to replace the old ice rink and move it to a new site overlooking downtown Truckee and the Railyard project. The new facility would be ice for five months, and the remaining months would be open for public use, including special events.

Funding Approved for Trail Upgrades, Visitor Facilities


The Placer County Board of Supervisors on Oct. 23 approved $547,774 in transient occupancy tax funding for trail upgrades and visitor facilities in Eastern Placer County recommended by the Capital Projects Advisory Committee. The first of three projects, approved for $175,000, focuses on infrastructure improvements to Squaw Valley Park in Olympic Valley. The proposed improvements to the parking lot, bike trail, and other paved surfaces would provide trail access during the winter, helping to keep the park open year-round. The board also approved $105,000 for a feasibility study of two concept proposals — the Siren Arts and Commonwealth proposals — to redevelop three buildings associated with the old Tahoe City firehouse near Commons Beach. Finally, the board approved $267,774 to fund an environmental analysis for the proposed Tahoe Cross Country Lodge replacement and expansion project located in Tahoe City, which would reconstruct the historic Schilling Lodge to serve year-round activities and services.

Homeowners Can Now Use HERO Home-Improvement Financing


As of October, owners of more than 12,000 Truckee homes now have access to HERO financing, the nation’s largest residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) option. HERO allows property owners to make energy-saving, water-saving, and renewable-energy home improvements and pay for the upgrades over time at a competitive, fixed interest rate through a voluntary line item on their property taxes. Eligible HERO improvements include rooftop solar, energy-efficient windows and doors, high-efficiency heating and cooling systems, and water capture systems. The Truckee Town Council voted in November 2017 to allow HERO financing to be made available in the town. Since HERO first became available statewide in 2011, owners of nearly 120,000 homes in California have used it to make energy and efficiency improvements. Info:

Boys & Girls Club Opens New Location


On Oct. 16, the Boys & Girls Club of North Lake Tahoe opened a new site in Truckee geared toward middle-school-aged youth. The new school-based site was opened at Alder Creek Middle School and serves children in grades six through eight. Former Kings Beach Site STEM Coordinator, Katie O’Brien, is the Alder Creek Middle School site manager for the new location. Programming will run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from school release until 5:30 p.m. The membership fee for the new Alder Creek Middle School program is $100 for the year and the fee enables members to attend programming at the other BGCNLT sites as well. Info:

$2.3 Million to Reduce Wildfire Risk


The California Tahoe Conservancy Board accepted a grant from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) on Oct. 11 to provide up to $2,335,120 for fire prevention projects and related efforts as part of the Tahoe-Central Sierra Initiative. Led by the Tahoe Conservancy and Sierra Nevada Conservancy, this initiative aims to restore social and ecological resilience to forests and watersheds across a 2.4 million-acre landscape that includes the Lake Tahoe Basin. The conservancy plans to use the grant to fund fuels reduction and forest thinning projects in Burton Creek State Park and on the conservancy’s Dollar Hill property in Placer County. The funds will also enable the conservancy to improve the use of biomass and wood produced by the Basin’s forest management projects.

SBC, Martis Fund Renew Down Payment Assistance Program


Sierra Business Council and The Martis Fund are teaming up to relaunch a program that provides down payment assistance to help qualified working families buy homes in the Martis Valley area. The buyer’s household income may not be more than 180 percent of the Placer County median income; this equates to roughly $144,180 for a family of four. This program can aid in placing buyers into better loan programs by having access to more down payment funds, and even possibly prevent the need to pay mortgage insurance. Sierra Business Council is currently working with local mortgage brokers and realtors to launch the program. Loans will be made on a first-come-first-served basis. Info:

Donner Pass Road Work Scheduled for 2019/20


The Nevada County Department of Public Works announced on Oct. 11 that a major road construction project is scheduled on Donner Pass Road in 2019 and 2020. The Donner Pass Road Improvement Project is a Federal Lands Access Program project that will provide road rehabilitation, resurfacing, drainage improvements, and shoulder widening to accommodate bicycle lanes. Construction is anticipated for at least one season in 2019 and may extend into the 2020 construction season as well, from approximately April through October each construction year.

River Cleanup Transforms Future Cohousing Space


The long-ignored site at 10925 West River St. has been a dumping ground for random detritus for decades. In October, a crew of 15 filled a 30-yard dumpster with trash — the fifth of its size that’s been hauled off the site since the start of summer. With the help of a forklift, several trailer-loads of trash were piled up and taken to the dump. A specialized metal recycler was enlisted to haul away old boats, wire fencing, and rusty snowcat tillers. This was the fifth in a series of river cleanup workdays sponsored and staffed by Truckee River Cohousing and its partner group, the Truckee River Village — which signed a deal for the land this past July. Info:

Local Ranger Districts to Begin Fall Prescribed Fire Operations


The Truckee and Sierraville ranger districts of the Tahoe National Forest will conduct prescribed fires this fall/winter to reduce build-up of hazardous fuels and to continue restoring forest ecosystems. The Truckee Ranger District is planning to implement around 500 acres of understory burning and 280 acres of pile burning this season. All prescribed fires will be north of Truckee and west of Highway 89 North. The Sierraville Ranger District plans to implement around 500 acres of understory burns and 500 acres of pile burning across the district, also to the north of Truckee. Info:; or email,

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