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March 28, 2013
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Truckee’s proposed senior living development undergoes changes

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A proposed age-restricted senior neighborhood project in the town recently underwent changes in an effort to further promote quality of life for its potential residents.

The 76,458-square-foot Pollard Station project, proposed west of Pine Cone Road and above the Cottonwood Restaurant parking area at Hilltop, now features a new pedestrian corridor, more amenities and more vegetation.

“When you think of retirement communities, it’s a social model, not a health care model,” said Jeffery Smith, regional marketing director of Integral Senior Living, a retirement management company that will operate Pollard Station, if constructed. “Nursing homes still exist, and they are there for wonderful reasons — for seniors who need more care — but our independent living, assisted living and memory care communities are really a lifestyle one.”

New design elements to promote interaction among residents such as covered porches, balconies and patios were incorporated into the plan with the help of Truckee-based MWA architecture, said Bill Fitch, of Davies/Fitch Partners, which owns the land.

“Our goal is to achieve a look and feel that is in line with the (2008) approved Hilltop Master Plan,” he said in an email.

A pedestrian corridor along Pine Cone Road was also developed, connecting seniors to surrounding residences, the proposed Hilltop Park and the Legacy Trail extension, Fitch said.

Lastly, some units were moved back from Old Brockway Road to preserve several clusters of mature trees — 65 trees of 24 inches in diameter or more out of 157 would stay. As for trees of six inches in diameter or greater, 185 out of 470 trees would remain.

The site plan also devotes 24 percent of the site to open space, which would feature a community garden, orchard, bocce ball, an outdoor amphitheater, barbecues and a dining area.

“The project plan updates have improved the project design by improving the overall look and feel of the project.,” said Executive Director Alexis Ollar, board president Nikki Riley and board member John Eaton of the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, in a statement. “The massing has been scaled down, and there is more attention to detail from MWA architects, which we really appreciate.”

Concerns that the overall project is too big for the site, site topography may create unsafe walking conditions and inconsistency with the Hilltop Master Pan, still persist, they said.

“The goal of the project is to provide a much-needed resource to our community,” Fitch said. “Pollard Station will provide aging Truckee residents an opportunity to stay in their chosen community and ‘age in place.’ It will also provide Truckee residents additional living options for their aging loved ones.”

Currently, Truckee offers seniors independent living at the Truckee Donner Senior Apartments on Estates Drive and extended care at Tahoe Forest Hospital.

The town of Truckee is reviewing the project application for completeness, looking to see if it is consistent with the general plan development code, the downtown specific plan and the Hilltop Master Plan, said Jaime LaChance, project planner. There currently is no timeline for when the review will be finished.

Afterward, an initial study to determine the type of environmental review the project requires will be done before the town’s Historic Preservation Advisory Commission makes its recommendation to the planning commission, LaChance said. Both the planning commission and town council will review the project.

“We feel like we can really change peoples lives for the better, not only the residents that have moved in with us, but the adult children and their family,” Smith said.

Pollard Station was first proposed in 2009, originally spanning approximately 125,000 square feet on about 8 arces at Hilltop, with 153 units and one lodge building, according to pervious reports.


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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 29, 2013 12:53PM Published Mar 28, 2013 07:42PM Copyright 2013 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.