Controversial Martis Plan could be approved | SierraSun.com
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Controversial Martis Plan could be approved

Scott Hess

Placer County’s Board of Supervisors could approve what some consider the death sentence of Truckee’s Martis Valley: the Martis Valley Community Plan update.

The plan, which has been through dozens of hours of hearings and a workshop, will return to the board of supervisors in what looks like the final hearing of the controversial plan on Oct. 21 at 1 p.m. at Northstar-at-Tahoe .

The MVCP is an update of the county’s original 1975 plan, but many residents, business people, environmentalists and city officials have come out in droves to the hearings to voice support, offer suggestions or flat-out criticize the plan.

The controversy? The plan and environmental impact report, if adopted, would allow for 6,800 residences on just more than 25,000 acres in the Martis Valley.

Although the plan is only for Placer County’s piece of the valley D the Martis Valley stretches through Placer and Nevada counties, and the plan area borders Truckee – Truckee and North Tahoe residents also have issues with the plan.

Among the most commonly heard concerns have been about employee and affordable housing, traffic (and increasing state Route 267 to four lanes), air quality, water quality, golf courses and open space.

Other concerns have surfaced as well, including noise issues for residences around the Truckee Tahoe Airport and the Washoe Tribe’s plea at the workshop on Sept. 22 to reconsider portions of the plan that impede on Washoe Tribe land.

County planning staff and proponents of the plan have maintained throughout the process that most of the topics causing controversy would be an issue whether this version of the MVCP is approved or not; sooner or later, some development will occur in the area.

One question that has surfaced in every meeting and could receive a definitive answer is, “How do we keep 267 at two lanes?” The county staff, as instructed by the board of supervisors at the workshop, has studied the possibilities and will present the findings at the meeting.

The county staff has said this is the best plan for the Martis Valley, and worry what another plan might bring, if this one is denied.

While it is expected that this meeting will bring up mostly the same topics, the amount of deliberation – especially at the workshop – suggests the board of supervisors will approve the plan and EIR. The board does have the option of continuing the plan to yet another meeting, however, if the board members need more time.

Even with an approval, though, the plan might not be done with hearings. Some – specifically Sierra Watch and Mountain Area Preservation Foundation – are so adamant about the detrimental impacts of the plan that the groups have threatened litigation, if the plan is approved.

For more information on the Martis Valley plan and for updates, visit http://www.sierrasun.com or http://www.placer.ca.gov/planning/projects.htm.


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