Citizens’ group opposes Shaffer Mill connection road |

Citizens’ group opposes Shaffer Mill connection road

The Citizens’ Advisory Committee for the Martis Valley Community Plan passed a motion at their Feb. 25 meeting requesting that the Placer County Department of Public Works not pursue the proposed connection of Shaffer Mill Road to Northstar-at-Tahoe.

The motion also requested the Department of Public Works not pursue the “internal connections” of Silver Spur and Palisades Drive to Shaffer Mill Road.

The motion did not oppose the expansion of Highway 267 to four lanes.

The 12-member committee is, however, purely advisory and can only make recommendations to the Department of Public Works and Placer County Planning Department, the agency in charge of updating the 1975 Martis Valley General Plan.

The committee includes representatives of the gated Lahontan community and the Ponderosa Palisades neighborhood, both of which oppose the road connections.

The 135-page preliminary draft of the Martis Valley Community Plan seeks to guide development and address “new environmental and land issues.”

The preliminary draft calls for the expansion of Highway 267 to four lanes from Interstate 80 to Northstar-at-Tahoe with stoplights at Shaffer Mill Road and at Northstar Drive.

The draft plan also calls for the connection of at least two roads within the Sierra Meadows neighborhood to Shaffer Mill Road.

In addition, the plan is not only looking to widen Shaffer Mill Road D it wants to extend it, most likely to Big Springs Road in Northstar.

The expansion and extension of Shaffer Mill Road would reduce the exclusivity that the private Lahontan community currently enjoys.

Placer County Planning Director Fred Yeager also announced at the meeting that the 1,300 proposed homes and condominiums in Sierra Pacific Industries’ Martis Ranch Resort near Brockway Summit would also be included in the updated plan. However, SPI’s proposed ski resort near those units would not be part of the plan.

The incorporation of those units raises the total number allowed in the Martis Valley under the new plan to approximately 6,800, including several gated communities with 18-hole golf courses.

Northstar also has plans, in various stages of review, for employee housing dormitories, expansion of the village (including 200 residential units), a new parking lot and a new restaurant.

While the committee has voiced its opposition to the expansion of the roads, several environmental groups, including Sierra Watch, the Tahoe Group of the Sierra Club and the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation, oppose the plan all together.

Those groups say the plan allows too much development, which they cite as creating the need for the road expansions.

The Placer-Nevada county line bisects the Martis Valley and also serves as the southern boundary of the town of Truckee.

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