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March 9, 2021

To: Truckee Sanitary District (TSD) Board of Directors

Re: TSD’s Connection Fee; Phase 2 Report/Public Input for 3/18/21 Board Meeting


Dear Board of Directors,

The Mountain Housing Council (MHC) is a project of the Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation, and brings together 27 diverse partners to accelerate housing solutions. These partners represent local government, nonprofit agencies, and businesses, and work together to address housing needs for the North Tahoe Truckee region. We appreciate that the Truckee Sanitary District (TSD) Board is considering the allocation of a revised connection fee, whereby rates would be variable based upon the size of the residential unit and/or whether it involves a multi- or single-family connection in its Connection Fee Adequacy Analysis Study. We support the Board adopting a variable rate instead of a flat rate, and respectfully submit the following comments for its consideration at the March 18, 2021 meeting.

Specifically, options 2 and 3 identified in TSD’s Phase 2 Implementation Study are aligned with findings published in MHC’s 2018 fee study, “Lowering Barriers for Private Investment: How Fee Incentives Can Help Achievable Local Housing Projects” (attached). This report proposes updating residential fee structures based upon the size of the residential unit and/or whether it involves a multi- or single-family connection in order to make them simple, streamlined, and scalable in order, reduce roadblocks, and encourage investment in achievable local housing within our communities. The Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency was a tremendous help in participating in the working group that crafted the Impact Fee Policy Recommendations, and we are hopeful that they will carry forward building on that great work.

While TSD’s Board has expressed concerns that switching to a variable rate could be unfair to some homeowners with larger residences, in fact, failing to do so creates inequity because wastewater generation is reasonably assumed to be higher for larger properties that have a higher number of bedrooms and bathrooms during peak times of the year, especially given the overall impact that COVID has had on residency in the region. In addition, while opposition to a variable connection fee is possible, we believe that it is unlikely to occur, as no such opposition has been observed in reaction to other agencies that have adopted similar scalable connection fees (e.g., Tahoe-Truckee Sanitation Agency and North Tahoe Public Utility District).

The MHC has urged all fee charging agencies to create a fee structure that facilitates private investment in local housing solutions. A number of contractors’ associations and developers have indicated that there are cost prohibitive fees and hurdles in place which prevent them from constructing enough achievable housing for the region’s workforce, and there is no question that this has formed significant barriers when it comes to achieving housing solutions in our region. While facilitating housing solutions was not the purpose of contemplating the switch to a variable rate, doing so would arguably provide incentives for the development of smaller units, which is an important step towards accelerating housing solutions for workers in the North Tahoe Truckee region.

We strongly encourage collective leadership and everyone working together in addressing the deeply complex housing issue in our region. To that end, we value our continued partnerships in projects, programs and policies to increase housing for workers who live and work in our region, and continue to welcome working together as partners to further these efforts.

Thank you.


Stacy Caldwell, CEO
Tahoe Truckee Community Foundation

Tara Zuardo, Project Director
Mountain Housing Council

Kristina Kind, Coordinator
Mountain Housing Council

Hannah Sullivan, Chair
Walter Auerbach
Bill Austin
Kelley Carroll
Geoff Edelstein
Emily Anne Gendron
Jerusha Hall
Alex Mourelatos
Erin Kilmer Neel
Lauren O’Brien
Thomas Powell
Robert Richards
Kristin York

Jim Porter

Stacy Caldwell, CFRE

Shirley and David Allen
Alpine Meadows
Alpine Winter Foundation
Julie Bradley and Zeke Cornell
Booth Creek Ski Holdings
Polly and Tom Bredt
Linda and David Brown
Cindy Darneal
Quinn Delaney and Wayne Jordan
East West Partners
Kathleen Eagan and James Duffy
Stuart Feigin
The FHK Companies
The Gelso Families
John and Judi Gingerich
Ernie and Tom Grossman
The Hackstack Family
Patricia Hellman Gibbs and
Richard Gibbs
William Hewlett
Fred and Barbara Ilfeld
John Jorgenson
Roger and Vicky Kahn
David and Barbara Kahn

Lahontan, LLC
Law Office of Porter Simon
Brian Marsh
Bill and Christney McGlashan
Azad McIver
Luise and Roger Menges
Julie Motamedi and Don Rollofson
Jim and Marianne Porter
Craig and Alison Poulsen
Gladys “Sandy” Poulsen
Resort at Squaw Creek
Dave and Holly Rippey
The Rock Garden & TNT Materials
Scott and Polly Ryan
Ryan Group Architects
Squaw Valley USA
Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
Teichert Foundation
Truckee Tahoe Lumber Co.
Jim and Ginger Walsh
Betsy and Tom Watson
John Weaver
Richard and Louise Wiesner

Stay Up To Date With Local Housing Issues and Programs

We’ve posted the meeting material from the January 15th MHC Quarterly Update on the website.

Check Out MHC Partner Updates

We’ve created a new page on the MHC website where the 27 partners of the MHC can share their updates on progress made on various housing programs and policies. Check out the page and learn more about the new Truckee Tahoe Workforce Housing Agency too.

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