Truckee North Tahoe Local Government Affairs Committee
Local Government Affairs Committee (LGAC) Meeting Date and Speaker
Next Meeting: Monday, July 20, 4:00 PM via Zoom
Guest Speaker: Hardy Bullock, Supervisor-elect for District 5, Nevada County Board of Supervisors
The next CATT Truckee North Tahoe Local Government Affairs Committee meeting is Monday, July 20, at 4:00 PM. This will be the first LGAC meeting since March to be held physically at the CATT Office. Masks will be required and social distancing implemented for attendees at the office. For those who cannot attend in person, participating by Zoom is an option. Here are the instructions to join the Zoom Meeting:
Go to https://zoom.us/j/5776601960
Meeting ID: 577 660 1960
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Our July 20 guest speaker is Hardy Bullock, Supervisor-elect for District 5 - Nevada County Board of Supervisors. Hardy will be seated on the County Board in January 2021. Hardy resides in Truckee and is currently the Director of Aviation & Community Services at the Truckee Tahoe Airport. He has been with the Airport District since 2008.
In Hardy’s campaign materials distributed before the election, he informs the reader, “Why do I want to be elected to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors Simple. I want to serve others. I have a unique perspective, having lived in both West and East County, I have committed my entire life to this community and want the opportunity to protect and enhance our District. I know how good government functions and the meaning of transparent and responsive public service. I can disagree without being disagreeable. I honor and respect other viewpoints, and I will always choose to work with people, not against them. I'm a hard working, optimistic team player, eager for all of us to win.” This is a meet and greet session with Hardy, so he can meet CATT members and they can meet him.
Other agenda items for Monday’s meeting include: Truckee VMT (Vehicle Miles Traveled) thresholds, CalFire 30 ft defensible space setback, Truckee General Plan and climate actions, and Truckee Planning issues.
Please contact CATT Truckee North Tahoe Government Affairs Manager Pat Davison at 530.550.9999 or email@example.com for more information about LGAC activities or issues of concern to CATT.
TOWN OF TRUCKEE BUILDING & PLANNING COUNTER UPDATE
As of July 7th, Truckee Building & Planning counters will open for appointment only. Appointments will be scheduled from 8 am to 12 noon Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday with a 30-minute appointment time frame. The Town of Truckee will not do inspections on jobsites if everyone is not wearing a face mask. Two warnings then no inspections. More information is included in a letter from Dan West and on the Town of Truckee Buidling Department's website.
TRUCKEE ADOPTS EXEMPTIONS TO NEW VMT RULES
As a result of state legislation that passed in 2013, the Truckee Town Council adopted rules on June 23, 2020 that require all new projects not currently in the pipeline to consider “Vehicle Miles Traveled,” or VMT, as a measure of environmental impact. This measure will be done as part of the State’s goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, develop multi-modal transportation networks, and diversify land uses. VMT accounts for the number of trips generated and the length or distance of those trips. In explanatory guidelines from the State of CA, a 15% reduction of VMT ( i.e. 85% of the current VMT amount) is recommended as a reasonable threshold or limit for future projects. Less miles traveled are good, more miles traveled are bad.
This is especially significant given Truckee’s tourism economy. Tourism has a ripple effect – one of those is construction activity. People come here from elsewhere and now that travel will be measured and used in environmental analysis. Monthly measurements are calculated by third parties using smart phone data and vehicle-embedded GPS data. The Town has done actual traffic counts on roadways and intersections, along with computer modeling, but those do not reveal where the start point is. Now the Town knows point of origin for all those cars and trucks on the roadways.
State Guidelines for CEQA (CA Environmental Quality Act) review already exempt the construction of a single family residence and/or a second dwelling unit in an existing subdivision from further environmental review. Other CEQA exemptions include multi-family residences (up to four dwelling units); and smaller retail, motels, offices, restaurants or similar structures, not involving the use of significant amounts of hazardous substances, up to 2,500 square feet in floor area.
The Town Council had to make decisions on numerous factors related to VMT – which projects would be exempt from VMT analysis, how a project must measure VMT, what is the VMT limit or threshold which would trigger a project requirement for mitigation to reduce VMT, and possible mitigation measures.
At the June 23 meeting, the Town Council settled on five different Truckee-specific exemptions – these projects do not have to do a VMT analysis (IMPORTANT NOTE - These exemptions do not constitute an exemption from CEQA – it only means these projects are not required to do a VMT analysis. A project that meets the VMT exemption criteria but has the potential to have impacts on other resources, i.e. cultural or biological, may still need to do a CEQA analysis/document):
1) Any new affordable unit for Very Low, Low, and Moderate Income Households, as defined by Section 18.21.020 of the Town of Truckee Development Code. 75% percent of the total project housing must be affordable (very low, low, moderate) or income restricted to meet the affordable housing exemption requirement, which means the other 25% could be achievable [if allowed] or market rate. According to the Town’s VMT consultant, “any new residential unit in Truckee that is used for workforce housing (defined as restricted by income or for persons employed locally) results in a net reduction in global VMT,” at roughly 30 percent (LSC Memo, June 11, 2020, page 3);
2) Any new market rate residential development located within ½ mile of the roadways as depicted on the map (must still provide 15% affordable units/lots). According to the Town’s VMT consultant, this area, close to schools and shopping, has a “trip length at least 15% lower than the Town-wide average residential trip length” (LSC Memo, June 11, 2020, page 3):
- Donner Pass Road eastward from the western Truckee interchange
- Brockway Road and Soaring Way from downtown Truckee to Truckee Airport Road
- Truckee Way from downtown to SR 89 North;
3) Any Local Serving Commercial Development (for example retail, restaurants, services, and offices) that is less than 10,000 square feet of floor area. A retail or event venue must show that 80% of its customers are from the eastern Nevada County/ eastern Placer County/ eastern Sierra County region. An office or other major employment generator must show that 80% of its employees are expected to live inside this region. Town staff originally proposed 50,000 SF but the Council did not support that size, going down to 10,000 SF instead;
4) Transportation improvements, including new trails, bike lanes, and sidewalks where the primary function is transit and active transportation; and
5) Transportation projects that are not likely to lead to an increase in VMT, including roundabouts, traffic calming devices, and roadside safety devices
Town staff also originally proposed an exemption for any housing unit restricted to “locals” housing (fulltime resident/local employment). CATT supported this “locals” exemption as a better alternative than income level. The Council was not comfortable using the “locals” exemption because there was no geographic area defining “local employment,” such as the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District (TTUSD) boundary. Even though the TTUSD boundary was used for the Coburn’s Crossing “local employment” restriction, Council members felt the TTUSD area was too big to use as the employment area for the VMT exemption. This unresolved topic will be the subject of more discussion, as VMT implementation will come back to Council in 6 months to a year for review/cleanup purposes.
Other decisions by the Council on June 23:
- Approved VMT per unit of development for a land use type (such as thousand SF of floor area for retail or office, number of rooms for lodging, or number of residential units) as the way VMT is measured
- Adopted 85% as the VMT limit or threshold for any project, meaning that if a new project generates a daily VMT per unit of development more than 85% of the existing Town-wide average for the individual land use type, mitigation will be required
- Accepted a diverse list of mitigation measures, including but not limited to reducing the number of trips generated by the project, improving bicycle and pedestrian connections, providing employee shuttles, or contributing money to VMT-reducing projects or activities
Although the Town selected “VMT per unit of development for a land use type” (i.e. thousand SF of floor area for retail or office, number of rooms for lodging, or number of residential units) as the measure for future projects, no baseline VMT measurement has been done of existing development in the various land use types. CATT requests for this baseline measurement were not granted on June 23. The Town will measure existing VMT per unit of development for each land use type as part of the General Plan Update (GPU), set for adoption in 2021. In the meanwhile, any new project that starts the review process before the GPU is done will have to do a measurement of the existing VMT for that type of land use. Town staff gave a rough estimate of costs for a VMT analysis – from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on size/type of project.
CATT members should be aware that suggestions for a VMT fee on all new construction (i.e. single family residential building permits in new and existing subdivisions like Tahoe Donner or Glenshire) have been made in the last year. Community discussion about the General Plan Update included several sessions where a VMT fee on all new construction was mentioned. It also came up in the pre-meeting Q&A email between Council members and Town staff. Here is an excerpt of that exchange:
Q - If we are adopting a VMT program now, why would a mitigation fee program not be coupled with that now?
A - With tonight' s agenda item, we are proposing to adopt a VMT threshold of significance for purposes of evaluating new development projects under CEQA, which is different than a VMT (reduction) Program. A VMT (reduction) Program would include not only standards for new development, but also a number of other measures designed to reduce automobile travel (such as transit, trails, sidewalks, ridesharing, user fees, mitigation fees, etc.).
Whether or not to implement a new fee on development associated with VMT generation is a matter of Council policy which for which there has been no Council direction provided at this point. Should there be a desire by the Council to implement a new fee program, that is something that would typically occur after the new standard is adopted and ideally would tier off the General Plan Update traffic analysis (and Climate Action Plan). A VMT mitigation fee program could be developed in conjunction with an update to our Traffic Impact Fee Program once we have an updated traffic model should the Council wish to create that new fee. (emphasis added)
The memo and charts created by the Town’s VMT consultant provide an amazing array of information about average trip length within different areas of Town, starting points of visitors, daily total VMT by geographic area within Town, difference in VMT between fulltime and part time residents, and more. To read the consultant memo, click here. To read the two CATT letters on the VMT proposal, click here. For more information about Truckee’s VMT decisions, please contact CATT Truckee North Tahoe Government Affairs Manager Pat Davison at 530.550.9999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TRUCKEE PUSHES ADU PROGRAM
Big thanks to Town Housing Program Manager, Seana Doherty, for adding a lot of content to the Town webpage devoted to ADUs- https://www.townoftruckee.com/government/housing/accessory-dwelling-units.
Different FACT SHEETS are being created to help homeowners and construction professionals understand the choices as well as rules and regs covering ADUs-
There is also a section titled "Inspiration & Resources" containing all kinds of useful information and a call for photos of Truckee ADUs. In the works is an “ADU FAQs” and a list of ADU-specific professionals. CATT members who want to specialize in ADUs should respond directly to Seana for details about getting on the list of ADU professionals.
Additionally, Seana is working on ADU loan assistance programs for homeowners. CATT submitted comments in support of a recent Town request for State of California grant monies to be given to Truckee homeowners as below market loans for pre-development services or construction of an ADU. The loans would have either a 10 or 15 year deed restriction on income (rent cap). The Town expects at least nine ADUs to be constructed over the next five years as a result of this new loan opportunity.
CATT and the Town are working together to present ADU webinars in the future. To be notified about upcoming webinars, get on the list of ADU professionals, or to receive more information about Town housing programs, contact Seana at email@example.com or call Seana 530.582.2492.
CATT TRUCKEE NORTH TAHOE PRIORITIES FOR 2020
Priorities for Pat and the Truckee North Tahoe Local Government Affairs Committee were approved by LGAC at their regular meeting December 16, 2019:
2020 PRIORITY ISSUES TO BE HANDLED BY CATT TRUCKEE NORTH TAHOE GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS MANAGER PAT DAVISON
Mitigation Fees – coordinate with LGAC as a whole
a. Alpine Springs County Water District Fire Mitigation Fees – annual update
b. Squaw Valley Public Service District Fire Mitigation Fees – annual update
c. Northstar Community Service District Fire Mitigation Fees & Martis Valley West Annexation – expect new fee study
d. North Tahoe Fire Protection District Mitigation Fees – annual update
e. Truckee Fire Protection District Mitigation Fees – annual update
f. Truckee Traffic/Facilities Mitigation Fees – annual update
g. Placer County Traffic Mitigation Fees – expect new fee study
h. Placer County Traffic Mitigation Fees Conversion to SF basis – may be part of new fee study
i. Tahoe Truckee Unified School District Mitigation Fees – biannual update
j. Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District Mitigation Fees – expect new fee study
Truckee General Plan Update – coordinate with LGAC GPU Committee
- continual work all year
Housing – coordinate with LGAC Housing Committee
- Achievable/locals housing incentives (large and small projects) – all jurisdictions
- ADU programs – Town and two counties
- Placer affordable housing requirement - request small project exemption
- TRPA ADU Housing Program
OTHER – Attend and provide monthly reports for the CATT Board, write articles for the CATT newsletter and CATT Weekly, prepare agendas and invite speakers for LGAC and committees, create LGAC email reminders and alerts, conduct leadership training and identify committee recruits, assist with fundraising for the Issues Action Fund, attend CATT member orientations and budget meetings, prepare content for WOW flyer, prepare Annual Report, read files for scanning, and perform other administrative duties as needed. Continue to emphasize the importance of CATT members being involved in issues to affect the outcome.
2020 PRIORITY ISSUES TO BE HANDLED BY LGAC COMMITTEE (OR POINT PERSON):
a. Placer Plan Check – Committee Chairman Pat Souza
b. North Tahoe Hydrant Flow Needs Assessment – Committee Chairman Pat Souza
c. Multi-Jurisdictional Building Working Group/Code Implementation – Committee Chairman Ryan Marsden
d. Affordable/Workforce Housing Solutions – Committee Chairwoman Kristi Thompson
e. NTFPD Schedule 80 piping requirement – Jamie Brimer
f. Truckee Tax Oversight – Craig Weaver
g. CA Bldg/Energy Code solar panel exemption – Committee Chairman Mitch Clarin/Ryan Marsden
h. Truckee Planning – Committee Chairman TBD
USE COMPLAINT FORM FOR PLAN CHECK & INSPECTION PROBLEMS
CATT Government Affairs Manager Pat Davison created a complaint form that can be used to document a problem with plan check or building inspection. This form allows CATT to track the complaint and also gives the managing entity specific detail for remedy. The complaint outline is simple:
- Project address
- Building permit #
- Date problem occurred
- Brief description of what happened
- Your opinion – what should have happened instead
- Your name and contact info
For more information about the complaint form and CATT involvement once the form is filed, please contact CATT Government Affairs Manager Pat Davison at 530.550.9999 or firstname.lastname@example.org
DONATE TO CATT "ISSUES ACTION FUND"
The Construction Industry is heavily regulated, with codes, fees, and policies changing on a regular basis at all levels of government. Many times, CATT dialogue with agency staff or elected officials can remove impediments or resolve problems.
But sometimes, CATT needs to take action to protect your industry in a different way. That's why you will hear the refrain: The World Is Run By Those Who Show Up with a call to action - comment now or attend a meeting. That's also why you will hear about CATT hiring experts or consultants to provide supporting information as a way to change the outcome of some code, fee, or policy proposal.
Consultants and experts give CATT an added boost, reinforcing a point from an outside perspective. That could make the difference between a questionable proposal getting adopted as is and one getting modified to be more reasonable.
CATT's Issues Action Fund is a dedicated fund set up to channel donations to those special issues where an expert or consultant can make a positive difference. LGAC oversees the Issues Action Fund. Please consider making a donation to the IAF today as a way to protect your tomorrow. Download the donation form here.
For more information about the CATT Issues Action Fund, please contact CATT Government Affairs Manager Pat Davison (530.550.9999 or email@example.com).
WHAT IS LGAC?
CATT's Truckee North Tahoe Local Government Affairs Committee is a permanent committee composed of members who are interested in Fees - Codes - Regulation - Policy. This is the committee that analyzes issues affecting the building industry and determines CATT position and strategy. This committee works very closely with CATT North Shore Government Affairs Manager Pat Davison.
Bring your problems or concerns to LGAC. You may think you are alone when in reality others may be experiencing the same problems. LGAC could be the place to help you find a remedy. Experience the power of numbers with CATT as your ally.
Come to the LGAC meeting and learn what is happening with TRPA, the Town of Truckee, Special Districts, and Placer, Nevada, and Washoe Counties. Find out what CATT is doing to improve conditions for you and the building industry.
WHO IS LGAC?
CATT’s Truckee North Tahoe Local Government Affairs Committee (LGAC) has 16 members. LGAC Chair is Craig Weaver (MOBO Law, LLP), Vice Chair is Cody Heller (Heller Construction, Inc.). Committee members are: Steve Cooper (Aegis Insurance Markets), Jamie Brimer (Brimer Construction & Plumbing), Chip Huck (CST Holdings, LLC), Heather Rankow (Developer’s Connection), Jaime Legare (Elements Mountain Company), Michael Forshee (Forshee Construction), Pat Souza (Heslin Construction), John Pruyn (High West Landscape Architects), John Wood (Loverde Builders, Inc.), Robbie Jamison (Mark Tanner Construction, Inc.), Ryan Marsden (Marsden Architects), Mitch Clarin (Mitchell T. Clarin), Kristi Thompson (MWA, Inc.), and Justin Bertoli (NSM Corporation).
If fees, regulations, codes, and policy interest you, contact North Shore LGAC Chair Craig Weaver at 530.214.8700 or firstname.lastname@example.org