Thank you for your interest in this project. We’re writing to update you on the County’s progress on the proposed Dollar Creek Crossing site. Placer County with the Tahoe Truckee Airport District purchased the 11-acre Nahas property near Tahoe City in October 2019 to help find solutions to the Tahoe regional housing crisis. No project proposal has yet been brought forward for formal consideration or approval. The County with Related-Pacific, our development partner selected following an extensive interview process, has held five community meetings about this potential project since 2018, with the most recent in January of 2020.
Since then, and in response to feedback, the County’s project team has been conducting additional project studies to better define the project’s foundational framework. These additional project studies include the following components:
New Economics Advisory (NEA) - Financial Feasibility and Demand Analysis to determine the best mix of workforce/achievable housing products at the site.
Williams + Paddon Architects + Planners (W+P) - site analysis to study the interrelationships of physical site characteristics, surrounding neighborhood context, and provide updated site plan sketches with potential residential and commercial use types.
LSC Transportation Consultants - transportation analysis to review specific site access concepts.
Adrienne Graham - fire risk study to analyze areas of project planning and design for fire safety.
Mapca Surveys - civil site surveying for mapping accurate boundary, topography, vegetation, and other existing site features.
Financial Feasibility and Demand Analysis
The Financial Feasibility and Demand Analysis is intended to determine the best mix of workforce/achievable housing and includes the following four tasks:
Task 2: Identify & perform market overviews on potential land use types and summarize key takeaways (completed)
Task 3: Conduct pro forma analysis of selected land use types from Task 2 (upcoming)
Task 4: Prepare market study for Low Income Housing Tax Credits application (upcoming)
Task 1 (residential market trends) resulted in the following findings:
A large portion of existing housing in the Truckee/North Tahoe region are for seasonal or occasional use only.
Most of the housing stock in the Truckee/North Tahoe region was built before 2000.
The project site can compete well for state/federal funding for traditional affordable housing. 4. There are few, if any, state/federal subsidy options to fill the financing gap between what local households earning more than 120% of AMI can afford and what it costs to construct housing. (Placer County area median income is $86,300 for a family of four).
***Tasks 3 and 4 will be completed in the next couple months. They will include a pro forma analysis of up to four land use development concepts.***
Task 2 (potential land use types)
This market overview use categories to identify specific product types that can be included in future project land use concepts. The outcome of this effort is to characterize market demand for each land category and assign preliminary assumptions for specific product types. This task identified four residential land use types tied to household income levels and one non-residential land use type that are site-compatible and in market demand.
1. Affordable Rental (30-80% Area Median Income) o Market support: High o Mix of studio to 3 bedrooms 2. Moderate Income Rental (80-120% Area Median Income) o Market support: High o Mix of studio to 3 bedrooms 3. Achievable For-Sale (120-220% Area Median Income) o Market support: High o 2-3 bedrooms 4. Neighborhood Commercial/Services/Recreation o Market support: Medium High 5. Office o Market support: Medium High
Additional Project Studies - Findings and Direction
In addition to market-based data derived from the Financial Feasibility and Demand Analysis, the other consultant studies, community and stakeholder feedback has helped inform the county’s project team’s approach to these areas of the Dollar Creek project:
1. Identified Targeted Residential Land Use Types:
Based on the Average Median Income (AMI) for the Truckee-Tahoe area, $86,300 (for a family of four), most categories of affordable residential land use types are in demand. The project team has narrowed the focus of affordable residential land use types to three which are perceived as those with the greatest demand in the area and potentially most readily achievable. The following residential categories are now being studied as the basic parameters for the residential products at the site:
Achievable ownership housing (120-220% of AMI)
Market rate rental housing (80-120% of AMI)
Affordable rental housing (30-80% of AMI)
2. For Sale Homes and Rental Unit Balance:
Based on the identified demand for both achievable ownership and rental housing along with feedback from the community, the project team is studying ways to potentially accommodate a greater number of achievable ownership housing units than was previously being considered. An increase in for sale housing will potentially reduce the overall site density or residential unit count due to the nature of single-family units.
3. Site Density Approach:
After further analysis and feedback from the community, the project team is now considering only what is allowed by the Placer County Tahoe Area Basin Plan for residential density without a potential TRPA density bonus: 15 dwelling units per acre. This equates to a maximum potential total of 171 residential units (11.4 acres x 15 du/acre) which is less than what was previously identified: a range of 174-204 total residential units. If part of the site acreage is used for non-residential land uses, the residential unit count will decrease accordingly.
4. Commercial/Service/Recreation Land Use Types:
The feasibility study includes analysis of potential local serving/small-scale commercial retail, office, services, and recreation uses. The study identifies a demand for newer, contemporary facilities that would accommodate these uses.
5. Transportation and Circulation
The project team has learned that a second vehicular access point to the site would be required based on newly enacted State fire code requirements. The team continues to plan for site access and circulation based on Tahoe Basin Area Plan standards while also factoring in opportunities associated with the Tahoe area microtransit program implementation and other multi-modal strategies. The proposed environmental review process will include a traffic analysis.
6. Recreation Uses Adjacent to the Site:
Connectivity to Dollar Creek Trail and any potential future uses at the neighboring Firestone property from adjacent neighborhoods and the potential project to these is considered an important amenity. Coordination with the North Tahoe Public Utility District and Tahoe City Public Utility District is underway with their potential planned future uses and implications associated with the Dollar Creek Crossing project.
Next Steps, Opportunities to Provide Feedback
County staff and consultants will update the Board of Supervisors on current progress and discuss beginning environmental review at the March 30 hearing. We invite you to participate virtually.
The additional planning studies started last year should be complete by the end of May.
Following completion of these studies and updating site planning concepts, county staff will coordinate opportunities to engage the community, including through meetings, newsletter updates and website information.
To stay up to date on the project, we encourage all community members to sign up for our e-mail list. If you know others that are interested in staying up to date on the project’s progression, please share this link with them so they can sign up for future updates and notifications. Should you wish to be removed from these notifications please let me know.
Thank you for your participation and support as we work together to create more housing options for our community’s workforce.