Affordable housing project garners criticism and support
TRUCKEE – Plans for construction of 32 affordable rentals near the Alder Creek Middle School here are charging ahead, and they are receiving both criticism and support from local residents.
Affordable housing developer Pacific West Communities is hoping to have approval for the project from the Truckee Planning Commission by August. The project must move swiftly to take advantage of a $1.5 million grant the town received for the project, town officials said.
The first public meeting about the design of the project was held on Wednesday night. A second public gathering is scheduled for May 17.
Several neighbors said the project could snarl traffic in the area, and damage a wetland that bisects Alder Drive.
Alder Drive resident Charolette Byrne said the traffic from the affordable housing development – coupled with vehicles from the middle school, Gray’s Crossing, Spring Creek and Pine Forest – is too much for the area to handle.
“It’s going to be a traffic nightmare on Alder Drive,” Byrne said.
Keith Brauneis, who also lives on Alder Drive, said he was worried about what development could do to a wetland that borders the western edge of the property.
“This is one of the most beautiful meadows that you will ever see,” said Brauneis. “You go there at 7 a.m. and it will take your breath away. That won’t happen anymore.
“We’re not opposed to low-income housing, it’s just such a big impact for such a small area.”
But many other community members voiced support for housing that will allow Truckee’s workers to find a place to live. Some even said that a higher density of housing should be built on the parcel after the 32 rental are completed.
“I think this parcel could support a higher than 10-unit-per-acre density,” said Truckee resident Brendan Riley.
Riley said the project designer should look at the historic housing in Truckee, such as homes on High Street and Keiser Street, for ideas on how to create a neighborhood feel to the housing.
“Call it workforce housing or affordable housing, but this will be family housing,” Riley said.
The Town of Truckee and the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe are also planning on developing a second phase on the project that may include for-purchase affordable housing. The second phase planning, however, has not begun yet.
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