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News Briefs | October 11 - November 7, 2018

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Moving In, Moving Up, Moving On

Kurt Althof Leaves the TCPUD

TAHOE CITY

Tahoe City Public Utility District Management Analyst Kurt Althof left his role at the district as of Sept. 21 and is moving over to Liberty Utilities. He will be responsible for communications and media relations with Liberty Utilities and anticipates a continued working relationship with the district.

Canyon Springs Developer Withdraws

TRUCKEE

Christopher “Chip” Huck has announced that the Canyon Springs Joint Venture and the Curtis Family Trust are withdrawing the Canyon Springs project application from the Town of Truckee. The proposed project adjacent to Glenshire included 203 lots, 60 of which were designated for “achievable housing,” and over 150 acres of public open space with trails. “The project is planned and designed to conform to the current property zoning and the General Plan,” Huck said, “but obviously there was quite a bit of concern and controversy. Our town, along with many other communities, is facing serious housing concerns that impact the very fabric of our community. We are supportive of the General Plan update process that the Town of Truckee is working on. This process will hopefully address these issues through public input, and arrive at a community consensus for the future direction of our town as a whole.” The site is nearly 300 acres and is one of the largest remaining developable sites within town boundaries.


New Bill Protects Homeowners Following Wildfire

CALIFORNIA

On Sept. 21 Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Senate Bill 824, which will expand insurance protections for homeowners following a wildfire disaster. SB 824 prohibits insurance companies from canceling or not renewing any homeowner policies for one year within a declared emergency area. It also orders insurance companies to report detailed wildfire risk data to the Department of Insurance, in order to give a full picture of the insurance market in an era of increasing wildfires. The hope is that it will serve to slow the pace of nonrenewals and extend existing renewal protections to homeowners.


Arrests Made in Arson Fires

CALIFORNIA

In September, CAL FIRE investigators arrested Kyle Jeptha Bridgman of Lincoln for deliberately setting five fires in the Lincoln area of Placer County between June 19 and Aug. 3, 2017. While investigating Bridgman in August, the team identified another arsonist, culminating in the arrest of Gregory Scott Courtney of Yuba City. Bridgman was arrested and booked into Placer County Jail. Bail is set at $160,000.


Railyard Development Update

TRUCKEE

Over the past five months, the Truckee Railyard has completed most of Phase 1 infrastructure improvements. By November, all roadways, parking lots, and sidewalks are expected to be complete. Phase 1 landscaping will resume in the spring of 2019. On the vertical front, development applications were submitted for a grocery store, Artist Lofts housing, and the Truckee Art Haus. Truckee Development Associates is also working on a modified plan for the Truckee Rail House for which the developers hope to submit an application in early 2019. In summer of 2019, vertical construction is anticipated to commence on the Truckee Artist Lofts and Truckee Art Haus. With the recent California Public Utilities Commission’s approval of the three at-grade crossings of the balloon track, Truckee Development Associates will begin on Phase 2 of the Railyard which will allow for development within the balloon in 2019.


Squaw Transportation Micro-District Commences Collections

OLYMPIC VALLEY

At the end of August, the Placer County Board of Supervisors approved the formation of the Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows Micro Mass Transit District, which will impose a 1 percent assessment fee on lodging, and possibly on day-use ski tickets, in order to fund the cost of “micro transit,” an on-demand shuttle service. Collection of the fee began Oct. 1, and as currently estimated, $465,000 per year in revenue will be generated. There is also a potential annual assessment from Squaw Valley Ski Holdings LLC of 1 percent of its day-use ski lift ticket sales, estimated in the proposed transportation district management plan to be $250,000 per year.


Tahoe Conservancy Receives $1.7 Million from Fish and Wildlife

LAKE TAHOE

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife has awarded $1.7 million to the California Tahoe Conservancy to help fund the restoration of the Upper Truckee Marsh, the largest remaining wetland in the Sierra Nevada. Development in the last century destroyed half of the Upper Truckee Marsh and left the Upper Truckee River channelized near its mouth at Lake Tahoe. Today, the river delivers more fine sediment to Lake Tahoe than any other tributary in the Basin, jeopardizing the lake’s famed clarity. The conservancy will begin construction on the $9 million Upper Truckee Marsh restoration project in 2019.


School District Receives National Recognition for Sustainability Efforts

TRUCKEE

The U.S. Department of Education announced this spring that Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) is a 2018 Green Ribbon School District Sustainability Awardee. In September Anna Klovstad, project manager at the TTUSD, traveled to Washington DC with Robert Leri, superintendent and chief learning officer for TTUSD and Missy Mohler, executive director of Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships, to receive the award. TTUSD is one of only six school districts in the United States, and the only school district in California, to receive this prestigious national recognition for its sustainability efforts. The U.S. Department of Education is honoring Tahoe/Truckee for innovative efforts to reduce environmental impact and utility costs; improve health and wellness of schools, students, and staff; and ensure effective sustainability education.


Tahoe Economic Summit

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

On Friday, Oct. 19, the Tahoe Prosperity Center will host the second annual Tahoe Economic Summit at Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel in South Lake Tahoe. The theme for this year is Transforming Tahoe. Tahoe Prosperity Center is bringing community leaders together around the goal of improving Tahoe’s regional economy. The summit will provide opportunities for attendees to network and share ideas about how to “Transform Tahoe” positively. The summit will deliver: information on regional and national economic issues that impact the local economy; expert speakers on topics ranging from housing, innovative economy, and workforce development; discussion around Tahoe’s individual communities’ strategies to address these issues; and learning through sharing adaptation approaches and successes. Info: tahoeeconomicsummit.org


Meeks Bay Restoration Project Solicits Public Input

MEEKS BAY

The U.S. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) hosted a public tour to announce the proposed action and public comment period for the Meeks Bay Restoration Project on Oct. 10. The proposed project area encompasses approximately 68 acres and includes Meeks Creek, Meeks Marina, Meeks Bay Resort and Meeks Bay Campground. The purpose of the project is to move the Meeks Creek stream channel and wetland/lagoon below state route 89 to a more natural condition, and proposed action includes invasive species eradication, removal of the marina infrastructure, reconstruction of the dock and campground, enhanced interpretation and recreation installations, and more. Info: fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd595196.pdf


Help Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad

TRUCKEE

The 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad Golden Spike Celebration occurs next year on May 10. The local railroad and historical societies are going to celebrate the event and recall how it all got started with the Transcontinental Railroad. The groups invited the public to discuss how best to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Golden Spike on Oct. 10. They hope to organize a summer-long series of events/activities next year in order to support the local economy and also tell the stories of Truckee’s past so that history comes alive for today’s and tomorrow’s generations. Info: cmortier@truckeehistory.org


Town Selects General Plan Advisory Committee Members

TRUCKEE

The town has begun the two- to three-year process to update the 2025 General Plan, with a 2040 version, and recently selected members to serve on the general plan advisory committee — tasked with making recommendations on amendments to the Truckee General Plan to the planning commission and town council. On Sept. 11 the town council approved the members: Seana Doherty, Stacy Caldwell, David Horan, Jan Holan, Paco Lindsay, Chelsea Waltersheid, Meg Urie Rab, Tom Just, Jim Winterberger, Andie Keith, Kathleen Eagan, Ravn Whitington, Keri Hamby, Alexis Ollar, Summer Hatcher, Isabella Terrazas, Brian Wolfe, Paul Curtis, Anna Klovstad, Erin de Lafontaine, and Heather Urrea Sullivan.


South Lake Supports City-Wide Housing Program

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE

On Sept. 19 the South Lake Tahoe City Council unanimously approved allocating funds to support a city-wide housing program based on identified resident and workforce needs. Development services director Kevin Fabino described this initiative as a two-step process. Step one will allow the city to determine the income group(s) that are in most need of housing and the mix of units that best meet their needs. In step two, the city will retain consulting assistance to effectively use “program income” to support a new housing program. Info: tahoechamber.org

 
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October 11, 2018