Business council releases planning guide |

Business council releases planning guide

David Bunker

The Truckee-based Sierra Business Council has released a new planning guide for development in the Sierra Nevada, the third fastest growing region in California.

The publication, entitled “Building Vibrant Sierra Communities: A Commercial and Mixed Use Handbook,” is a guide for Sierra communities looking to build compact, pedestrian-friendly towns that mirror the historic downtowns and neighborhoods that have become the social, economic and cultural centers in the mountain range.

“Change is coming fast to our Sierra communities,” said Kate Powell Segerstrom, Sierra Business Council chairwoman. “As civic leaders we can help ensure that change enhances our quality of life and contributes to our local environment and economy.”

Powell said the Sierra Business Council invested in the publication so that communities can accommodate new growth “while protecting the wonderful small-town assets that make our towns so unique.”

The Sierra Business Council’s mission is to secure the social, natural and financial health of the Sierra Nevada, according to Powell. In response to the enormous challenges facing the region, the business council helps Sierra communities work together to steer the region’s economy, environment, and communities in directions that ensure long-term prosperity.

A previous publication by the Sierra Business Council, “Planning for Prosperity,” won the Daniel Burnham Award.

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Historically, Sierra towns have thrived with a combination of commercial and residential development. Since there is no single reference to which builders, planners, or citizens can turn for information on successful mixed use approaches in the Sierra, the Sierra Business Council decided to publish the new guide.

“Building Vibrant Sierra Communities” shows real-life projects in the Sierra that can be used as models and gives valuable information about traditional Sierra town patterns.

To learn more about the council or to order copies of their publications, visit

“By focusing on the growth patterns that historically anchored the economy and social life of these communities, this book can help our citizens and decision-makers plan for a brighter future that builds on the best of our past,” said George Dondero, a member of the Calaveras Council of Governments.

The Sierra Business Council is a member-based organization of more than 650 business, civic, and individual leaders.