How should Kings Beach’s main street look?
Environmental Report For Kings Beach Project Released – Five public meetings planned
The 1,800-page environmental review document, released March 26, offers four alternatives for improving a 1.1-mile stretch of Highway 28 that runs through the center of Kings Beach. Two of the alternatives offer variations of a three-lane concept, both using roundabouts; the third is a four-lane treatment of the roadway using stoplights. The fourth option is a no-build alternative. Project parking improvements and water quality improvements will also extend onto the adjacent streets. To help build community consensus on which idea is preferred, Placer County is working with the Sierra Business Council in holding a series of public workshops. The workshops will be held on April 25, May 1, May 15, and May 29 at the North Tahoe Conference Center in Kings Beach, from 6 to 9 p.m. Also there will be meeting conducted in Spanish on May 2, at the Kings Beach Elementary School, from 6 to 9 p.m.

The document is available for review at the Kings Beach Library, the Tahoe City Library, the North Tahoe Conference Center, the North Tahoe Business Association, and the North Tahoe Public Utility District.

The entire document is available online at placer.ca.gov/Works/Projects/KingsBeach.aspx. The comment period ends on May 24, 2007.

Pathway 2007 moving out of hibernation
Pathway 2007, the comprehensive project to update long-range plans for Lake Tahoe, recently held a couple public workshops to re-affirm the community vision that’s been developed over the last year. The vision is to protect the lake through ‘regional sustainability,’ said Darin Dinsmore of consultants Regional Planning Partners. Now the task is to define what ‘sustainability’ means for our region and how we want to get there.

If you’re interested in Tahoe’s future over the next 20 years, keep your eye on the Pathway process. The Forum, a panel focused on updating TRPA thresholds, will be meeting in the next few months; while the Planning Working Groups will be developing ideas for demonstration projects that will feature sustainability principles. Pertinent to the Pathway process, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency is planning to release, in late April, Threshold Evaluations for 2006 and for which many have been waiting.

Look for upcoming Pathway meetings at pathway2007.org or call Angela Moniot at 775-589-5235.

Day laborers to move to new location

For the past several months, an informal committee has been meeting to address the growing number of day laborers that gather in front of the Transportation Center in downtown Truckee. According to several local organizations, the gathering of laborers was creating a traffic issue and visitor concerns. The committee came to the conclusion that the best solution would be to relocate the group’s gathering location to a less congested part of town, but still with easy access and visibility. Sitting on the committee have been representatives from the Truckee Donner Chamber of Commerce, the Truckee Downtown Merchants Association, the Town of Truckee, the Truckee Police, the Truckee Family Resource Center (FRC), Sierra Nevada Children’s Services, and the Truckee Tahoe Community Foundation.

The FRC will take the lead in assisting with the transition, starting April 1, from the central downtown area to the area near the Beacon gas station lot at the corner of Donner Pass Road and Bridge Street. The FRC sees this as an outreach opportunity for their programs that could be valuable to this group such as: English as Second Language classes; self-help legal resources; employment opportunities; counseling services; referrals to various other services; clothing and food.

StoneRidge is fulfilling housing dreams for low-income families

In heeding the call for affordable housing needs, local developer Fitch & Cook Communities elected to target a salary level that is in great need of assistance in order to realize homeownership. Fitch & Cook is finishing up the StoneRidge project north of downtown Truckee, where ‘low income’ first-time homebuyers can get substantial assistance through below-market-rate home prices as well as a down payment assistance from the Town of Truckee. ‘Low income’ is defined as those families earning 80 percent of the Nevada County Area Median Income or lower (up to approximately $41,100 annually for a two-person household. The Town offers a low-interest down payment assistance of up to $40,000 per unit (and in some cases, even more) for the StoneRidge project. Fitch & Cook reports that three of its 11 affordable 2-bedroom condo units have recently closed escrow and are now occupied by their new owners. Eight more units will be available in the fall of 2007.

For information about StoneRidge project, contact Patty Brooke at 530-550-9667 or visit fitchandcook.com. For questions on Town of Truckee Down Payment Assistance Programs, e-mail JoAnn Anders, jaa@infostations.com.

Apply now for Gray’s Crossing affordable apartments
The Workforce Housing Association of Truckee-Tahoe will begin taking applications for residency at the Gray’s Crossing Affordable Apartments on April 16. The Gray’s Crossing Apartments are located at the intersection of Highway 89 North and Donner Pass Road. There are 92, two- and three- bedroom apartments available. Each unit has a full kitchen, laundry hook-ups, and spacious living area. The complex also includes many common area amenities. Households applying for residency at the Gray’s Crossing Apartments must be income qualified between 35 percent and 60 percent of the area median income adjusted to family size. Applications will be accepted and screened on a first-come, first-serve basis. For specifics regarding the Gray’s Crossing Apartments, call 530-584-5902. For questions, contact Tom Ballou at 530-587-7567 or tom@whatt.org.

Nevada County Master Bike Plan

Nevada County is updating its 1996 Master Bike Plan and came to Truckee Town Hall on March 18 to get local input on bicycling in the area. With 30 people in attendance, there were two general themes in public comment: the neighborhoods in Truckee are in dire need of bike path connections and the biking experience needs to be improved on major roadways (it’s downright scary in some places). Consultants Alta Planning, based in Berkeley, work exclusively in biking and pedestrian planning. Alta will focus not only on creating a bike path wish list, but also will integrate implementation strategies into the plan so that the wish list can become a reality, said Eric Anderson, Alta senior planner. For info, contact Eric Anderson, 530-540-5008 or eanderson@altaplanning.com.

The winter has been mild, the fire season could be wild

The Red Cross is establishing a DAT Team (Disaster Action Team) in the North Lake Tahoe and Truckee area. The organization is looking for dedicated volunteers to assist in the event a disaster should hit our vulnerable area. Twice this winter, Red Cross opened shelters housing almost 300 people when Interstate 80 closed for two nights in late February. Our population is growing and there is an increasing need for local volunteers including Spanish speaking. For information, email Lynn Felsch, felschl@sacsierraredcross.org.