Canyon Springs EIR Issues

The Canyon Springs Development and Process

SPRAWL | Truckee’s General Plan prioritizes infill near the center of town over sprawl at the fringes. Canyon Springs would make Truckee sprawl all the way to the easternmost border, and would open up the much larger Teel property (4,000 acres) in unincorporated Nevada County for development, which the Town of Truckee and its residents would have no control over.

NO MASTER PLAN | At the time of Town incorporation, the Town Community Development Director required a master plan process for density over .5 units per acre for the property formerly known as Tahoe Boca, now known as Canyon Springs, which would allow for community input. That master planning process has never happened, and we demand that it must if Canyon Springs is to move forward.

FLAWED EIR | The final environmental impact report (EIR) is highly flawed, glossing over or failing to acknowledge major environmental impacts, such as allowing the applicant to “cherry pick” data, leaving out significant information. It’s simply untrue that we won’t have impacts from traffic, construction noise, extra greenhouse gas emissions, water runoff impacting the pond, or disruptions to deer migration, among other wildlife concerns. This is the most expensive EIR process in Town history, reflecting that this is a piece of land that should not be developed at this scale.

MITIGATION NOT BELIEVABLE | The final EIR also claims that the Town will be responsible for monitoring and mitigating impacts from the Canyon Springs development, which is not credible. Existing developments like Elkhorn Ridge, which are not fully built out and therefore not “revenue neutral” for the Town, are having major impacts on surrounding neighbors and the Glenshire Pond, and the Town takes no responsibility whatsoever. The Planning Commission should question whether the proposed Town responsibility is credible or proper, and we should ask why, as taxpayers, we will be expected to pay for mitigations required of a private development being built on an unsuitable piece of land.

TOO MUCH BLIGHT | None of the communities in Eastern Truckee are fully built out, despite some having existed for decades. Do we as a Town really want more ghost towns? Elkhorn Ridge, the development most like Canyon Springs, has sold so few homes in over 20 years that it went bankrupt, and as a result no one manages its runoff or other environmental impacts, and the Town doesn’t take responsibility either. What’s worse, because Canyon Springs’ developers have sunk so much money into the project and the EIR process, the homes there are likely to be priced too high for many buyers to be interested. The Truckee General Plan prioritizes “community character” and Eastern Truckee’s community character is becoming to be defined by blight. We don’t need more ghost town streets, we need open space.

OUR PROPERTY RIGHTS MATTER | Denying the Canyon Springs application is not denying property rights. It’s upholding the property rights of long-time Truckee residents who pay income taxes, reside full-time in the community, and don’t wish to be surrounded by more ghost towns, or to subsidize with our tax dollars the development of an out-of-town developer seeking to pave streets through an environmentally sensitive area.

NOT IN THE INTERESTS OF TRUCKEE | It makes no sense for Truckee taxpayers to foot the bill for a flawed development that’s unlikely to return much revenue to the Town. Other developments aren’t built out, suggesting Canyon Springs is unlikely to be built out in any reasonable timeframe, especially given its likely higher price point for identical parcels. The Town will have to invest great effort, at taxpayer expense, to mitigate Canyon Springs’ impacts.