Glenshire residents meet to talk about proposed development
More than 150 Glenshire residents packed Glenshire Elementary School gym on Tuesday to hear a presentation on the proposed Tahoe Boca development, and to question issues of traffic, water and environmental impact raised by the proposal.
Tahoe Boca, a 250-home proposal on 288 acres east of the Glenshire subdivision, is still in the early stages of the planning process. However, many Glenshire residents are already challenging details of a proposal that they feel will overload traffic, drop real estate values, and tax infrastructure in the area.
The overwhelming majority of the crowd’s questions and comments centered on traffic concerns, which Town Planner Duane Hall admitted was a concern of the town as well.
“[The development team] submitted a preliminary traffic study,” said Hall, “but there needs to be a lot more information.”
Lee Golden, resident of Regency Circle in Glenshire, was upset over the increased traffic that his neighborhood will receive if it is connected to the subdivision as proposed.
“For us in our little neighborhood, it will be a disaster,” said Golden, who thought that vehicle traffic could more than quadruple down his street.
Hall attended the meeting as the town representative to inform the audience of the status of the proposal and the process it must go through to be approved.
“We’ve just begun our review process,” said Hall. “Do we do a Mitigated Negative Declaration or do we go through an Environmental Impact Report (EIR)? We are not even close to that point now because we think that there is a lot of additional information needed.”
Indeed, a second major point of concern is whether the town will allow a Mitigated Negative Declaration, as the development team has advocated, or require an EIR.
Gavin Ball, land use planner for the proposal, said an EIR might duplicate much of the information provided by a 1990 EIR and current studies and additional data the team has collected. However, he said that the developers remain open to the possibility of an EIR.
“We’re open to the EIR process,” said Ball. “If it’s warranted and beneficial, I believe that’s something that the owner’s will be open to.”
The developer’s presentation reviewed the details of the project, touted the environmental sensitivities of the design, and highlighted it’s superiority over past proposals for the same land.
Ball highlighted the 172 acres of open space planned for the subdivision and a publicly accessible trail system, as two big benefits of the proposal.
Paul Curtis, the landowner and a long-time Glenshire resident, noted that any development on the land would be controversial, but he said he bought the land to develop it in the best way possible.
“It was not a question of whether, but of when and how,” Curtis said of development on the land. “If you go to a community that stagnates, you realize growth is better than stagnation.”
After the presentation, Hall and developers fielded questions from Glenshire residents. Some comments were impassioned, others cynical, and some pragmatic.
Many asked for the specifics of traffic flow in and out of the development. The two major access points, one through Glenshire Drive and the other through Martis Peak Road, raised controversy. The adequacy of the water system was also discussed.
“There is adequate water capacity availability, but there will have to be system upgrades to support the project,” said Ball in response to a question on the water system’s capability of supporting another development.
Adrian Juncosa, a biologist and Glenshire resident asked Ball about the extent of research the team had conducted on deer migration routes. Ball admitted that more research needed to be done, either by a third-party consultant, a researcher hired by the developer, or by an EIR.
While Tahoe Boca is still in its early planning stage, it is apparent that Glenshire residents will be monitoring its progress closely, and voicing concerns along the way. Glenshire Homeowners Association General Manager Geoff Stephens said that the association will organize another meeting on the proposal if necessary.
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