Effort fails to halt Truckee project
A referendum petition that would have forced Truckee to reconsider its approval to develop the Old Greenwood resort came up fewer than 50 signatures short of required.
“I knew it was going to be really close,” said a disappointed Beth Ingalls after getting the news from Truckee Town Clerk Patt Osborne on Tuesday.
Ingalls is one of the organizers of Truckee SOS (Save Open Space), the group that led the petition drive.
“The main reason we didn’t make it … is that people think they are registered at the right address, but they are not. You have to re-register every time you move,” she said.
Roger Lessman, managing partner of East West Partners, the project developer, was more upbeat.
“Obviously, we are pleased with the outcome,” he said. “While this is an indication that this is in the forefront of some people’s mind, we think it’s not a major issue with the town in its entirety.”
The referendum petition would have required the Town Council to either rescind or put to a vote two ordinances that are central to the resort development’s approval.
One ordinance approved the development agreement between the town and East West. The other rezoned more than 300 acres on the southern end of the proposed 871-acre Old Greenwood resort.
The council unanimously approved both ordinances and the project itself in June.
According to Town Manager Stephen L. Wright, the group needed 738 valid signatures on each ordinance’s petition, but received 696 for the rezoning ordinance and 690 for the development agreement.
Truckee SOS managed to collect 1,001 signatures on one petition and 982 on the other within a two-week period. The town contracted with the county to verify the signatures.
Ingalls sat down with the town clerk Wednesday to review the signatures and figure out why some were ruled invalid. According to Wright, it is unlikely that the petition will have enough signatures, even after the review process.
While the petition appears to have fallen short, a lawsuit has been filed by the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation contesting the project’s approval.
“There is still a lawsuit filed by MAPF, and we are considering our options in light of that,” Lessman said. “We expect to make a decision early next week.”
The suit challenges the adequacy of the town’s general plan and its compliance with state planning and zoning laws.
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