Could California’s Coldest Place Blaze a Path to Better Development?

Up in the Sierra, the Town of Truckee Is Embracing Dense Urban Growth

One of California’s hottest development projects can be found in one of its coldest towns.

In an era of bitter neighbor-bites-neighbor fights against big developments, perhaps it’s fitting that an antidote should emerge from the Donner Pass. Tiny Truckee—a very snowy municipality of 16,300—has embraced a plan to double the size of its century-old downtown.

The Railyard Project—it’s being built on a 37-acre railyard—shows that communities can overcome NIMBYism, environmental litigation, and all the usual California obstacles in pursuit of transformational development. The project also shows just how difficult and complicated …