Big discussions on Martis Valley today |

Big discussions on Martis Valley today

How the future of Martis Valley unfolds could be decided by the Placer County Planning Commission when it considers two developments today.

Siller Ranch and Eaglewood propose a combined 45 holes of golf and 1,188 residential units along Schaffer Mill Road in the Martis Valley, an area that has turned into a battleground between environmental groups and developers. It’s a dispute that has already yielded two lawsuits and is likely to bring more litigation and appeals in the future.

Five environmental groups have a pending lawsuit against the Martis Valley Community Plan – the long-term plan for growth in the entire valley – and Hopkins Ranch, the first subdivision approved in May under the community plan.

Siller Ranch, which is proposed by DMB Highlands Group, has already undergone one commission meeting, a May 13 hearing that ended inconclusively as commissioners delayed a decision to review a glut of last-minute comment letters on the proposal. The 726-unit proposal slated for the end of Schaffer Mill Road and south of the Lahontan subdivision has drawn fire from the California Department of Fish and Game, the Town of Truckee and a coalition of environmental groups.

Concerns range from traffic and housing impacts to the preservation of sensitive wildlife habitat along Martis Creek.

Martis Valley Associates, the developers of Eaglewood, propose 462 residential units, an 18-hole golf course and a clubhouse on the northwest side of Schaffer Mill Road. But unlike Siller Ranch, Eaglewood has included plans for 48 employee housing units and eight moderate income units in its development.

Affordable housing has proven to be a big issue in the Martis Valley developments, with both the Workforce Housing Association of Truckee Tahoe and the Town of Truckee urging Placer County to require employee and affordable housing at the same time that the jobs will be created by the developments. Any decision on Siller Ranch will likely include conditions that require an employee housing plan to be developed.

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