Placer County Board of Supervisors Initiates Purchase of Dollar Hill Property for Local Housing Project, Truckee Tahoe Airport District Pledges $500,000

The 11.4-acre parcel outside of Tahoe City represents one of the best opportunities to directly address North Tahoe’s severe housing crisis

KINGS BEACH, Calif. (July 26, 2018) — Following an overwhelming display of community support, the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted to initiate an option to purchase an 11.4-acre parcel in the Dollar Hill area of Tahoe City to pursue a housing project.

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District subsequently pledged $500,000 to support the project at their board meeting, setting in motion a project that could deliver much needed achievable local housing to a community that is in the grips of a severe housing crisis.

The Placer County Supervisors’ unanimous vote of approval came at a July 24 meeting in Kings Beach. The Airport District’s pledge of financial support came at their July 25 meeting in Truckee.

The wide array of support for the project — from business owners, Dollar Hill residents, special districts and community figures — showed how seriously the community takes the deepening housing shortage and highlights the efforts of the Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee and its 29 regional partners that are focusing on local housing solutions.

“Seeing the community rally around this local housing project shows that our region can and will work together to solve the housing crisis. The Nahas Project represents our potential to actively secure achievable local housing that will ensure a full-time community to protect and steward this beautiful place for generations to come,” said Stacy Caldwell, CEO of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, which leads the Mountain Housing Council effort.

The supervisors’ support for the project means that county staff will now begin negotiating the option on the $3.6 million purchase.

“There is no question in anyone’s mind that without having adequate housing for our community, none of us will be able to have businesses here,” said District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, acknowledging concerns expressed by several business owners that the housing crisis is hurting their ability to hire and retain employees. “This piece of property is perfect for the kind of achievable, local housing we envision.”

The Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board of Directors voted to support the project with a contribution of $500,000. The Board described the pressing issues facing our local community and stressed their commitment of support throughout the project timeline.

“The Truckee Tahoe Airport District’s commitment to the community it serves goes well beyond aviation services,” said Rick Stephens, president of the Truckee Tahoe Airport Board. “Our board voted unanimously to dedicate funding to a project that will address a housing crisis that is impacting our district and the businesses and community members we serve.”

Cindy Gustafson, CEO of the North Lake Tahoe Resort Association, said housing has become a top priority for North Tahoe businesses.

“The North Lake Tahoe business community is very involved in the Mountain Housing Council and strongly supports solutions that address the broad spectrum of achievable local housing needs. All types and sizes of businesses believe that workforce housing is a critical issue,” said Gustafson.

The property is located at the intersection of Fabian Way and Highway 28, two miles from Tahoe City’s downtown and six miles from Kings Beach. With its proximity to public transit, trailheads and schools, it is an ideal location for achievable local housing.

Before releasing a Request for Proposals to developers, Placer County and the Mountain Housing Council will co-host a gathering to seek community input.

On Aug. 1 Placer County and the Mountain Housing Council’s community meeting in Tahoe City will seek input on all elements of the project, and will include that feedback in its RFP for developers. The meeting will be held from 3-5 p.m. at the Tahoe City Public Utility District Board Room at 221 Fairway Drive.

There will also be a discussion of the project at the Aug. 9 North Tahoe Regional Municipal Advisory Council meeting.

The Mountain Housing Council is comprised of 29 committed stakeholders to take on the unique and pressing challenges of housing in the North Tahoe-Truckee region. 

Truckee Residents Purchase River Redevelopment Site for Local Housing Needs

Local group takes big step towards building their own community designed for full-time residents while sparking a revitalization of the downtown river core.

TRUCKEE, CA, July 16, 2018 – Sunday, a group of full-time Truckee residents gathered to celebrate the purchase of a unique 7.9 acre industrial redevelopment property on West River Street and the future site of their cohousing neighborhood, a community designed and financed by local residents.

The Truckee Cohousing group, comprised of approximately 20 member families, has been meeting regularly since mid 2017 and recently formed as Truckee River Commons, LLC.

Julia and Lorenzo Worster, both teachers in Truckee schools, sparked the most recent effort to establish cohousing in Truckee after experiencing a brief residency at Nevada City Cohousing. “Living in a tight-knit community with multiple generations made it easier and more joyful to raise two young children while balancing two careers,” states Julia.

Even with two full-time salaries in the local school district the Worsters found it difficult to finance and compete for local housing. Creating cohousing with small homes and shared neighborhood resources seemed to be a path towards living more sustainably and becoming homeowners in Truckee’s competitive, high-priced housing market.

The cohousing group has leveraged the resources of the recently formed the Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee, a project of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, by using the research and definitions provided by the Mountain Housing Council to establish the goal of developing one third of the neighborhood to qualify as achievable local housing for Truckee residents earning up to 170% of the area median income (AMI). “Our goal is to provide a great place to live for families who work in Truckee,” comments Swenja Ziegler, the Affordability Team Lead.

“Additionally, the Mountain Housing Council has introduced the project to investors which is exceptionally helpful,” states Jan Holan, Project Lead.

“Cohousing is a fantastic model for our region and we hope to see more locally-sourced solutions like this in the future. This project delivers in so many ways: units for achievable local housing, centrally located housing, and improved river access. We’re thrilled to welcome this innovative solution of community-focused housing to our region,” said Stacy Caldwell, CEO of Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation.

Cohousing is an international model based on the idea of creating an intentional community of private homes designed by its future residents. Fully equipped dwellings complete with all the expected amenities surround a shared common house and green space. The common house with its large kitchen and dining area, creates an excellent place to gather for shared meals and special events. It serves as the community “living room,” with clustered mailboxes, laundry facilities, and play spaces for kids and grownups.

Many cohousing neighborhoods are designed to keep cars to the periphery, which promotes friendly exchanges with neighbors and creates safe, car-free spaces for children to play.

Truckee Cohousing’s Site Team conducted an exhaustive search of all the potential sites within walking distance of downtown Truckee to lower the impact and use of cars. “Other site considerations included excellent sun exposure for energy efficiency and accessibility to trails and nature. Being able to jump in the Truckee River was a bonus,” said John Stanec, Site Team Member and physician at Tahoe Forest Hospital.

The working title of the development is Truckee River Village. In addition to the cohousing neighborhood, the groups envision includes creating a public plaza, park and trail and replacing the non-conforming industrial uses with housing above ground floor commercial. The plan is aligned with the Town of Truckee’s Downtown River Revitalization Plan adopted in 2005.

Holan is collaborating with local businesses and entrepreneurs to further develop the vision of the future commercial uses. Some examples of uses considered are a riverfront cafe, collaborative health and wellness center, coworking space, adventure center, and child care. “Our goal is to develop commercial uses to support the new neighborhood that locals and visitors can enjoy while minimizing the need to get in the car,” says Jan Holan, Project Lead.

Prior to closing on the property last Thursday, the cohousing group has been engaged in impromptu work parties to clean up the site. The group has hauled off three large dumpsters and about 100 yards of junk and trash off of the site. “It’s one of the benefits of having a group of engaged citizens investing in the property,” says Holan. Additionally, with the help of the Town of Truckee, dozens of abandoned cars have been taken off the property in recent months.

Regular site tours and meetings are being held for potential homebuyers and investors to find out more about cohousing and plans to make our river a more accessible feature of our town. See www.truckeecohousing.com or email truckeecohousing@gmail.com for more information.

 

Martis Valley Affordable Housing Project Wins $16 Million Grant

In a big win for achievable housing in the Truckee-Tahoe region, the State of California has awarded $16.25 million to a 56-unit affordable housing project in the Martis Valley. The grant will also fund regional transportation projects.

The grant is a big step forward for the Meadow View Place affordable housing project, a critically needed workforce housing project that could begin construction as early as next year.

Mountain Housing Council partners, including Placer County, were integral in supporting the successful grant application. That collaborative approach between Mountain Housing Council partners is one of the reasons the organization was formed.

Read more about the state grant at https://www.placer.ca.gov/news/2018/june/workforce-housing

Mountain Housing Council Members Travel to Colorado Mountain Towns to Learn About Housing Solutions

Last month, several representatives of the Mountain Housing Council of Tahoe Truckee (MHC) traveled to Vail and Breckenridge, Colorado to learn about housing solutions being implemented in these mountain towns. The CO Housing TREK was sponsored by TahoeChamber and included site visits and presentations by local housing leaders.

To watch our summary, view the video below:

To learn more about the City of Vail’s Housing programs go to: https://www.vailgov.com/housing

To learn about efforts in Summit County:  https://www.summithousing.us/