Calm before storm? Timberline, Rincon del Rio plans proceeding on different fronts

By: Gus Thomson, Journal Staff Writer
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Two developments geared toward the area’s growing seniors population are poised for showdowns with local residents. The 858-unit Timberline development in North Auburn won the approval of the Placer County Board of Supervisors last August but is being challenged in court. The Timberline developer – Western Care Construction of Rocklin – will join Placer County and a group of opponents called the Ad-hoc Committee to Save Our North Auburn Quality of Life for a mandatory settlement conference. The Rincon del Rio project, which calls for 345 units on property fronting the Bear River in South Nevada County, is moving toward completion of draft environmental documents that signal a move toward public hearings. Brian Foss, Nevada County principal planner, said Tuesday that an administrative draft of the Rincon del Rio environmental planning document has been submitted to the county for review. The next step is for county planners to provide comments to the consultant preparing the report. When the draft is considered adequate and accurate, it will be made available for public review, Foss said. “We’re ensuring all issues are addressed,” Foss said. The Rincon del Rio draft environmental impact report is targeted to be ready for review in early to mid-November, Foss added. Nevada City attorney Peter Lemmon has said that opponents need to wait until the environmental review is completed before voicing their complaints. Typically, the environmental documents addresses concerns voiced at public hearings and then provide potential mitigations to reduce or eliminate negative impacts from a project. Mark Mills, a member of the Stop Rincon del Rio organizing committee, said Tuesday that the group is poised to take legal action but will have to wait while the environmental documents are prepared. Mills, who has lived in South Nevada County for 21 years, said Stop Rincon del Oro has been producing buttons and stickers, while handing out more than 100 signs. The signs have sprouted inside Lake of the Pines, on Highway 49 and near the proposed development, which is located on 210 acres fronting the Bear River off Rincon Way. “We’re pessimistic but it’s best to be realistic,” Mills said. Davis attorney John Gabrielli, who is representing Timberline opponents, said Tuesday that both sides are still on speaking terms and while legal action has started, settlement discussions are still possible. “Both sides are saying ‘Let’s sit down and talk,’” Gabrielli said. “We’re preparing for litigation but discussing settlement.”