Placer County Supervisors tentatively approve Martis Valley West Project

Published on September 14, 2016

The Placer County Board of Supervisors today tentatively approved the resolution for the Martis Valley West Parcel Specific Plan and certification of the project environmental impact report. The board’s vote was 4 to 1 with District 5 Supervisor Jennifer Montgomery opposed. The hearing was continued to the October 11 board of supervisors meeting, when staff will provide updated findings, ordinances and resolutions for their consideration.

In a presentation to the board today county staff addressed concerns about efforts to limit or avoid impacts to traffic generated by the project, impacts of traffic and nitrates to Lake Tahoe, and concerns about the safe evacuation of the Lake Tahoe Basin and Martis Valley in an emergency.

The approved Martis Valley West project proposes to build 760 residences and 6.6 acres of neighborhood-serving commercial business near the existing Northstar Village development between Truckee and Lake Tahoe. In order to build at that location, the project proposes to give up the allowable density of 1,360 residences on a larger parcel across state Route 267 (known as the east parcel), and instead put that 6,376 acres of land under permanent open space conservation. Since the Martis Valley West Project only calls for 760 residences, it results in an overall reduction in density by 600 homes.

“In terms of the proposed public benefit, this is a project the likes of which we just don’t see,” said District 4 Supervisor Kirk Uhler.

“This is an opportunity to put nearly 6,500 acres into conservation,” said District 1 Supervisor Jack Duran. “To make a total of 50,000 contiguously conserved acres - you don't see that kind of conservation very often."

The developer modified its affordable housing proposal, agreeing to construct workforce housing on site and provide funding for additional regional workforce housing instead of paying an in lieu fee.

The project will provide $5,051,635 in recreational amenities and fees including the development of a public trail staging area at Brockway Summit, private recreational facilities to serve the residents of the Martis West development, and park fees of $1,362 per residential unit.

Other key elements of the project includes the developer contributing $68,000 annually to county regional transit, a $59,700 one-time payment for capital transit expenses and construction of a bus shelter to be located on site near Highway 267.

Additionally, the board approved county staff’s recommendation of the Planning Commission to amend the Martis Valley Community Plan to establish protocols for emergency events, such as fire, avalanche, seismic and flood protection measures.

In a separate, but related project, Sierra Pacific Industries and Mountainside Partners announced Sept. 7 their intention to sell a 120-acre parcel near North Lake Tahoe that was originally proposed for the development of the Brockway Campground. The project, independent from the Martis Valley West Project, was under review by Placer County and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. Sierra Pacific Industries has opted to sell the land to the U.S. Forest Service, instead. Once completed, the land will become part of the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit of the USFS and will be permanently protected from future development.