I know from my experience growing up in Truckee that local development is always controversial, but is it always detrimental? Individuals and groups are concerned (and rightfully so) about the environmental impacts. Traffic congestion, noise, corporate profits and “sky glow” are a few other community concerns. With no recourse after development, it is imperative we dissect these developments into microscopic detail. Below you will find detailed information on three of the major developments currently impacting the region. Enjoy!
Homewood Mountain Resort Village
In 2006, Jeff Yurosek sold Homewood Ski Resort on the west shore of Lake Tahoe to JMA Ventures, a Bay Area development company. Shortly after acquisition JMA proposed new development of the resort base area. The North Base (Phase 1) will be transformed to include a base hotel lodge as well as a small neighborhood village to be used by Homewood and West Shore residents and visitors. The North Base will include a 75-room boutique hotel, 84 ski-in/ski-out residential Condominiums, new gondola, and approximately 13 on-site workforce housing apartments for full-time employees. The North base’s development will also include up to 15,000 square feet of retail space with a planned grocery store and hardware store. Subsequent phases will include the balance of the North Base area including new day skier facilities and structured parking, as well as employee housing. Once the initial phases at the North Base are complete, plans call for initiating the redevelopment of the South Base area (phase 2) with a combination of slopeside chalets and a main residential lodge. Plans also include new pedestrian walkways, bike paths, and ice skating pond.
Squaw Valley Extension
In December 2011, Squaw Valley Real Estate, LLC submitted an application to Placer County seeking adoption of the “Village at Squaw Valley Specific Plan.” Since the time of the initial application submittal, the Specific Plan has been through a number of internal review and comment cycles with the County staff, and numerous public meetings have been held to receive early input on the project from responsible and trustee agencies, adjacent property owners, public interest groups and from the general public. A final draft version of the Specific Plan has been prepared. Some features of the proposed plan include 1,500 rooms in hotel, condo and timeshare lodging, a 90,000 square foot indoor Mountain Adventure Center, 31 fractional ownership cabins scattered on the slopes near Shirley Canyon, nearly 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, a transit center, employee housing, parking structures and skier services. The bulk of the 85-acre village will be built on the parking lot at the base of Squaw Valley, while the employee housing is located on a 9-acre parcel near Olympic Valley’s eastern entrance.
One of the most anticipated developments coming to the region is Truckee’s Downtown Railyard. After being stalled for years due to a lawsuit and the economic downturn, the Truckee Railyard project is picking up steam. With land acquisition, entitlements, and eight years of planning complete, the Truckee Railyard is preparing to break ground on the first blocks of development. Growth in Truckee’s full time population and local economy has created immense unmet demand for workforce housing, live/work space, and office space. Increasingly, Tahoe residents and visitors alike desire a mixed-use, dense and walkable place, which Truckee Railyard is uniquely prepared to offer. Phase 1 is fundamentally an extension on the current downtown. This first phase will be a physical extension of the commercial shops, restaurants and lodging found along Commercial Row. The extension will also provide new housing, recreation and civic uses in Downtown. The extension will be the most intensely developed District in the Master Plan area. Long unmet local and regional demand for movie theaters, a grocery store, new restaurants and retail, and civic destinations will be fulfilled by the Truckee Railyard’s expansion of a historic downtown.
Phase 2a (Trout Creek) will provide a mix of single family and multi-family homes along the newly restored Trout Creek. These homes have the unique opportunity to provide well-designed and smaller single family homes in the downtown core. While phase 2b (Industrial Heritage) will contain a mix of uses including multi-family residential, artisan and commercial space, live-work and work-live uses. Development in the IH District will be designed to reflect historic uses on the site, including the mill and buildings associated with railyard operations.