A Stronger Community
Those who work here should be able to live here. According to the Town’s 2019 Existing Conditions Report, 57% of Truckee’s workforce live elsewhere. A family must earn nearly 200% of our area median income in order to afford home ownership. The essential service workers who qualify for subsidized housing must wait up to two years to rent an apartment. The only comparably priced housing that is not subsidized is in our mobile home parks, where the number of affordable spaces has been decreasing. We must heed recommendations of the Mountain Housing Council and improve local housing opportunities for people earning less than 200% of median income, to strengthen workforce connections to our community, improve our local economy, reduce traffic, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Infill and Mixed-Use Development
State and local laws now make it easier for the development of mixed-use housing and accessory dwelling units in Truckee. Combined with more than 2,600 undeveloped dwelling sites within planned developments, this will allow for higher density and walkability. It will also allow people with diverse backgrounds and income levels to live closer together and closer to where they work. With a generous opportunity for community input, we should apply these laws and related policies to further promote community interaction, reduce infrastructure costs, improve economic prospects for public transportation, preserve open space, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, traffic, and parking demand.
Agencies and Non-Profits
Truckee’s residents are served by over 100 non-profit organizations and over eighteen special governmental districts. Each of them is a specialist in what they do. Truckee needs to support these organizations and make use of their expertise is charting the Town’s future.
Tourism and Short-Term Rentals
We need to collaborate and engage on how to strengthen our sense of community and social connections. This has become more difficult as the Town grows, tourism increases, short-term rentals spread, and our permanent residents make up an ever-smaller percentage of our population. Smarter land use planning, regulation of short-term rentals, tourism tailored to our natural and pioneer legacy, improved alternative transportation, and the implementation of affordable housing policies are among the topics deserving to be explored and implemented to restore our sense of place and community.
Trust and Transparency
The need to maintain the community’s trust in Town government becomes more important as the Town grows. We can help maintain that trust by capping campaign contributions, by strictly adhering to disclosure requirements, and by more fully engaging the public earlier in the process on proposed developments and other matters that come before Town government. The Town has increased community outreach, with more needing to be done.
Tourism and construction are cornerstones of our economy, but they are also susceptible to economic downturns, whether from pandemics or other causes. The Town should continue working on policies and strategies reflected in the work of the Sierra Business Council to assure land is correctly zoned for light industries and other enterprises, promote broadband extension into commercial and residential neighborhoods, protect existing businesses, and welcome new businesses that reflect changing technologies and increasing use of remote employment.
We need to review Town government policies and laws governing buildings, land-uses, transportation, and broadband in the context of better protecting our personal and economic health against the risk posed by infectious diseases like the current Covid pandemic.