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Kings Beach Affordable Housing Project Gets Key Approval

February 09, 2010

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) has approved a landmark project for the Placer County portion of the Lake Tahoe Basin. By a unanimous vote, the Governing Board OK’d the remaining two sites of the Domus project, also called the “Kings Beach Scattered Sites Housing Project.” In the planning stage for several years, this project is divided into five separate sites throughout Kings Beach. The Governing Board had previously approved three of the five sites in July of last year.

With the approval of the Chipmunk and Fox Street sites at the Jan. 27, 2010 TRPA meeting, all five components of the affordable housing project have cleared the regulatory and environmental approval process and construction could begin this year.

“This is the first non-mandated affordable housing project available in the county’s portion of Lake Tahoe,” said Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery, who is Placer County’s representative on the Governing Board. The other two affordable housing projects in District 5 (Sawmill Heights at Northstar and a project in Martis Camp) were specifically required as mitigations for new development in those areas. Montgomery made the motions to bring the Domus agenda items forward for a vote. “This project will bring much needed and much delayed relief to the North Shore. The local residents who will move to these units will no longer have to live in the existing substandard housing, but will live in a safe, clean and healthy environment.”

The project will have significant benefits to the overall community and environment. Placer County will upgrade infrastructure by installing new sidewalks, curbs, and water and sewage lines. Additionally, the buildings will have environmental design features and be built to LEED certification standards. At the Chipmunk site, the building construction will include a drainage basin that will capture and filter out an estimated seven tons of sediment a year that now enters the lake.

The Domus Project has been a main focus of the Placer County Redevelopment Agency (RDA) for three years. RDA has spent about $5.5 million acquiring four of the properties for the project. Purchase of the remaining parcel is expected to be heard before the Board of Supervisors in an upcoming meeting. In addition, RDA has obtained two grants totaling $5.4 million for the project. The developer will be applying for Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which will figure into project financing.

In all, the $34 million project will construct 77 units on the five sites. Of those, 75 will be deed restricted for low-income residents who earn between 30 percent and 60 percent of the area median income. The remaining two units will be for on-site managers.

Placer County separately approved the sites. Each of the sites had different approval requirements, which were completed last summer.

In addition to the Domus Project, RDA has been intricately involved in Kings Beach project. RDA has allocated $11 million to the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project, which the Governing Board approved at the same meetings. That project will revitalize a 1.1-mile section of State Route 28 that runs through the center of Kings Beach. Additional RDA projects on the North Shore of Lake Tahoe include:

  • Construction of a gateway sign at the east end of Kings Beach;
  • Acquisition and remediation of two abandoned gas stations at the eastern end of the project;
  • Construction of two off-street parking lots;
  • Working with the Tahoe City Public Utility District on the Tahoe Vista Recreation Area Park improvement project; and
  • Providing pre-development funding for Community Enhancement Projects.

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