DMB/Highlands Group LLC had originally planned to build as many as 726 homes and two golf courses on Siller Ranch as well as a 65 home golf community on Hopkins ranch, but those plans were put on hold last year.
The building was to take place on the ranches, which were just south of the Trukee/Tahoe airport. Then, two non-profit groups heard about the plans to build, they sued to block the projects altogether. The non-profit groups that sued were the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation and the Sierra Watch.
Development Will Go On
Building will still take place, but the agreement has been modified a bit. The number of homes built on the Siller Ranch has been reduced from the original 726 to 653 and would eliminate one of the golf courses in an attempt to leave more open space.
The agreement also requires that the majority of the Hopkins ranch would remain open space and that 55 of the 280 acre ranch would be dedicated to work force housing, which makes housing for firefighters and police officers more affordable.
The agreement also reads that a fee of 1% of the sale and resale of the homes will be paid to open space preservation, wildlife habitat restoration, and work force housing construction.
It’s said that the fee could raise over $72 million dollars in the next 25 years, a substantial amount of money. The agreement doesn’t list an end date for the 1% fee, meaning it will go on without end, which makes the two non-profit groups very happy.
Other developers have had similar agreements with environmentalists.
Both the developers and the environmentalists believe that such agreements are worthwhile, so that both of their causes can be made a reality. The cost of the housing on the two ranches has not yet been announced, but the private community will likely be higher priced second homes or primary homes for those that have retired.