Camping on Donner Lake’s public piers could be banned |

Camping on Donner Lake’s public piers could be banned

Emma Garrard/Sierra Sun file photoA sunbather reads a book as she lays out on a public pier at Donner Lake last spring. The Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District is proposing an ordinance to the town banning overnight camping on the public docks.

DONNER LAKE ” Overnight camping on Donner Lake public piers may be banned this summer.

The Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District board voted three-to-two in favor of banning overnight camping on the district-owned piers along Donner Lake last week.

“It was a very difficult decision,” said Board Secretary Peter Werbel.

Werbel said the board was divided in its vote over a few issues. “Those who voted against thought it was a good place for kids to hang out, and there has never been a huge outcry of people abusing it,” Werbel said, who voted for the ordinance. “But those voting for it thought other people feel they can’t use the piers when people are camping on them.”

General Manager Steve Randall said the board set a tentative ban from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m., but are still wrestling with the exact times.

“Last summer there were some people camping for a couple days that made the piers not useable for the rest of the public,” Randall said.

Truckee Police Lt. Hargrove said overall camping on the public piers has been a small problem, mainly on holidays like the Fourth of July.

“We get a lot of complaints from people who live along the lake for noise and garbage,” Hargrove said.

Charlie White, owner of Donner Lake Realty, agreed, saying tenants have complained about noise at night and garbage left by campers.

But in spite of voting in favor of the ordinance, Werbel said he hopes it can be flexible.

“I’m hoping that if it does become an ordinance police will look at the intent of the law rather than strictly enforcing it,” Werbel said.

Randall said the board will do a second reading on March 12, and if passed, then would be presented to Truckee Town Council for decision.

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