Martis Valley environmental report: ‘no development’ option is superior | SierraSun.com

Martis Valley environmental report: ‘no development’ option is superior

Staff report
A schematic of the proposed Martis Valley West Parcel project.
Courtesy image |

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Visit bit.ly/1jMDg56 to view an electronic copy of the draft DEIR.

TRUCKEE, Calif. — A proposed residential development in Martis Valley would result in a few significant, unavoidable environmental impacts.

According to a recently released draft environmental impact report for the Martis Valley West Parcel Project, those impacts are related to cumulative night lighting, transportation and circulation, and greenhouse gas emissions.

Beyond that, the project would have significant or potentially significant effects in the areas of biological resources, cultural resources, noise, geology and soils, hydrology and water quality, utilities, public services and recreation, and hazardous materials and hazards.

All of those, according to the report, can be mitigated to less than significant.

Martis Valley West proposes shifting a development designation from a large parcel east of Highway 267 to the west for conservation purposes of 6,376 acres.

Currently, 670 acres on the 6,376-acre east parcel is zoned for residential and commercial development under the Martis Valley Community Plan, which allows for 1,360 residential units and 6.6 acres of commercial uses.

The project proposes retiring 600 of those units and transferring the remaining 760 units to the west parcel, a portion of which would need to be rezoned from timberland production to single-family residential, neighborhood commercial to occur.

‘Areas of known controversy’

Overall, the draft EIR, which studied several project alternatives, found the “no development” option as environmentally superior, with the “reduced density” option being the best alternative.

Under the latter scenario, the number of residential units would be reduced by 45 percent, or 342 units, reducing impacts in areas such as forest resources, population, greenhouse gas emissions, noise, visual resources and transportation.

However, it would not eliminate the significant and unavoidable impacts identified for the proposed project.

The draft EIR further outlines “areas of known controversy” for the project based on public comments received including: scenic resource impacts, transportation impacts, recreation impacts, biological resource and forestry impacts, and water supply.

How to comment

According to Placer County, the draft EIR’s 45-day public review began Oct. 22. The deadline for public comment is 5 p.m. Dec. 7.

Comments should be mailed to Placer County Community Development Resource Agency, Environmental Coordination Services, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190, Auburn, CA 95603; faxed to 530-745-3080; or emailed to cdraecs@placer.ca.gov.

Public comments will also be taken at a Nov. 19 hearing, scheduled for 10:05 a.m. in the North Tahoe Event Center at 8318 North Lake Blvd., Kings Beach. Only comments pertaining to the draft EIR will be taken at the hearing; comments on the merits of the project will be taken at a later date.

Hard copies are available during normal business hours at the Kings Beach Library (301 Secline St.), Tahoe City Library (740 North Lake Blvd.), Truckee Library (10031 Levon Ave.), Placer County Community Development Resource Agency (775 North Lake Blvd., Tahoe City), and in Auburn (3091 County Center Drive).

Look to a future print edition of the Sierra Sun for analysis and reaction to the draft report’s conclusions and recommendations.