Auburn meeting location riles Tahoe Vista residents
July 7, 2008
Tahoe Vista residents are upset that a Placer County Planning Commission meeting regarding a local issue is being held 90 miles away in Auburn.
“We think meetings related to the North Shore should be scheduled here in the North Shore,” Tahoe Vista resident Ellie Waller said.
The planning commission is scheduled to meet Thursday morning, and one of the items on the agenda is the Tahoe Vista tourist accommodation units ” a.k.a. the Sandy Beach Project.
The project ” 45 tourist accommodation units and 10 affordable housing units on 6.25 acres replacing the Sandy Beach Campground ” will affect Tahoe Vista residents, including Waller.
To express their concern, Waller and other residents went door to door during the weekend with a petition requesting that meetings involving local issues be held locally. They collected 81 signatures and submitted the petition to the Placer County Planning Department electronically. Someone will also bring a copy to the meeting, Waller said.
Waller said this same issue has been a problem in the past, and residents have been successful at getting meeting locations changed.
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But the county’s decision to hold the meeting in Auburn makes Tahoe Vista resident Jerry Wotel question whether the commission wants public input, he said. Wotel said he is not going to the meeting, but he would absolutely attend the meeting if it was held locally.
“The Planning Commission should have this meeting in Tahoe,” he said.
With local gas prices exceeding $4.60 a gallon and the meeting being held at 9:30 a.m. in Auburn, the commission makes it unreasonable for Tahoe Vista residents to attend, he said.
Planning Director Michael Johnson was not available Monday to comment on the meeting’s location.
Despite the meeting place, another problem is that the commission did not allow enough time for the public to review the final environmental impact report for the proposed development, which was issued June 26, Wotel said.
The public had 10 days to comment on the EIR, and scheduling those 10 days during a holiday weekend did not give anyone adequate time to read the two-inch-thick document and submit thoughtful comments, he said.
The Sandy Beach Project is one of a handful of development projects proposed for the Tahoe Vista area.
Waller, who lives less than one-half mile from the project site, said she is concerned that future development projects will affect her quality of life.
To have more say in local development, Tahoe Vista residents have joined forces in an effort to update the Tahoe Vista Community Plan, a guide for land use-related decisions.
A meeting about the plan will be held tonight.