Residents Wary of Proposed Development

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The landscape of Truckee and the surrounding area could soon look very different. Developers are planning to build several thousand homes around Martis Valley.

Placer County, which borders Truckee, is considering a community plan that would allow up to 6,000 homes.

Some I met with in Truckee say that growth and development are not always good things.

This valley is nestled between Truckee and the Tahoe basin. Northstar-at-Tahoe borders the southwest side. The ski resort has plans to expand with a new condominium project.

Other developers want to build here as well. DMB Highlands Corporation is one.

The company has already built "Lahontan" - an upscale community surrounding this golf course.

Truckee mayor Ted Owens, who's also a contractor, says he has concerns about the 4 or 5 proposed developments.

"The traffic congestion - the quality of life issues - and the housing issues. We're up to our eyeballs right now in affordable housing issues and employee housing issues in the town of Truckee," Owens says.

And, though the nearby developments would be in Placer County and not Nevada County, Owens says Truckee would feel the effects.

Owens says.. the highway 267 bypass was built to filter traffic away from downtown Truckee. But he says if the Martis Valley General Plan is approved by Placer County supervisors, traffic will once again be funneled downtown.

"A lot of folks have the idea that the plan is designed around the developers - instead of what is right for the valley," says Owens.

Business owners we talked to in downtown truckee have thier open set of opinions about the proposed developments in nearby Martis Valley.

Dan Copeland, owner of Truckee Shoe Company, says the proposed developments - and the traffic they would cause - could be a detriment to the town. "I think a lot of people moved here to get away from that kind of congestion," he says.

Stefanie Olivieri, owner of Cabona's clothing shop and a lifetime resident of Truckee, says the Martis Valley General Plan is too aggressive and would allow more homes than the valley can support.
"It's just like a ship. If you put too many people on a ship, the ship will sink," she says.

Olivieri says there must be a balance between homes and people - and the surrounding area. "Quality of life to me is important and preserving this beautiful environment around us is essential."

Newschannel 8 tried to contact two developers in these proposed projects - plus Placer County Supervisor Rex Bloomfield - but we were unable to talk to them on camera.

Placer county's planning commission will take up the community plan on June 26th.