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Truckee’s Most Controversial Project Moves Forward

Planning commission to vote on Canyon Springs Nov. 17
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Canyon Springs Hearing

WHAT: Town of Truckee Planning Commission will vote on the tentative map and certification of the final environmental impact report for the Canyon Springs development east of Glenshire.

WHEN: Nov. 16 and 17, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Truckee Town Hall Council Chambers, 10183 Truckee Airport Rd.

INFO: townoftruckee.com

Editors' Note, Nov. 30, 2015: The Dec. 1 continuation of the Canyon Springs planning commission hearing has been canceled, as the developer has requested additional time to submit a modified project proposal. A date has not been determined for a future hearing, but it is anticipated to be held in January 2016.  

Editors’ Note, Nov. 19, 2015: The Truckee Planning Commission voted to continue the hearing to Dec. 1 for deliberation. The two night hearing drew more than 300 people, 68 public comments, and totaled 10 hours. 

Canyon Springs, unquestionably the most controversial development project in the Town of Truckee’s 22 year history, will be decided on mid-November by the town’s planning commission. However, the project’s fate will likely be decided on by a judge, as both the developer and the opposition have said they will appeal and litigate, if their side is unsuccessful.

Canyon Springs Joint Venture, the developers behind the project, have proposed 177 single family units and 26 affordable housing units on 290 acres of land east of Glenshire, just on the edge of Truckee’s town boundary. The project also calls for 182 acres of open space and 4 miles of public trails. While the developer is touting the creation of open space and jobs, opponents cite numerous concerns, including deer herd disturbances, traffic congestion, and creation of sprawl.

“There has been an unprecedented level of public interest and controversy,” Truckee Town Manager Tony Lashrook said of Canyon Springs. “Development applications on the property date back to before Truckee was a town.”

At least four iterations of a project have been proposed on the 290 acres since 1990, all of which have been vehemently opposed by neighbors and environmental groups. The current Canyon Springs project was proposed in 2010, with the draft environmental impact report released in Dec. 2012, a revised EIR released in Sept. 2014, and the final EIR on Oct. 28. Truckee Planning Manager Denyelle Nishimori said the developer spent roughly $600,000 on the environmental impact report process, which she says is the town’s most expensive EIR to date.

Nishimori also noted that the town has received more public comments on this project than any other in the town’s history — 77 on the draft EIR and 75 on the final EIR — mostly opposing the development. It is this reason that the project will trigger another first for the town — a two-day public hearing, instead of the typical one-day hearing. Nishimori said she is expecting four to five hours of public comment on Nov. 16. The planning commission will then be asked to vote Nov. 17 on the tentative map and certification of the final environmental impact report, but could defer a vote to a future meeting.

“Now is the time to be involved,” Lashbrook said, as this meeting will determine what happens with the project.

However, if one side does not agree with the planning commission’s decision, the vote could be repealed to the town council. And if the repealed decision is not acceptable to either side, then litigation could occur. Chip Huck, an owner of the property, along with the Curtis Family Trust, told Moonshine Ink that he would “remain willing to legally defend the project.” Opponents have also made their voice loud and clear.

“If this project is approved, we will appeal and litigate,” said Alexis Ollar, executive director of Mountain Area Preservation, which sued over Old Greenwood in 2006. “This type of development is inconsistent with the town’s general plan.”

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November 8, 2018