Judge waits to rule on Tahoe City transit center | SierraSun.com

Judge waits to rule on Tahoe City transit center

The fate of the Tahoe City transit center is now in the hands of a federal court judge in Sacramento.

Attorneys representing Placer County, the U.S. Forest Service and Federal Transit Administration, and area homeowners spoke before Judge Karlton at a Friday court hearing.

The judge will present a written ruling sometime in 30 to 60 days, said Placer County attorney Rick Crabtree.

“It means he needs to think about it for a while and make a decision,” Crabtree said.

The litigated plan to build a bus center at the U.S. Forest Service parcel known as “64 acres” was approved in December 2005 by the Placer County Supervisors.

Homeowners at Tahoe Tavern and Tavern Shores challenged the decision because they believe the Forest Service property near the Tahoe City wye should only be used for recreational purposes.

The lawsuit says more appropriate sites for the transit center were disregarded mainly because the Forest Service land was free.

In a previous interview with the Sierra Sun, Crabtree said the opponents’ case against the county was simply an attempt to move the project away from their properties.

Despite the litigation, Placer County has moved ahead with plans to build the transit center. Designs are currently being completed for the project.

The hearing is the final step in the lawsuit process. But the ruling can be appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, Tony Rossmann, the attorney representing the Tahoe Tavern and Tavern Shores homeowners who sued the transit center, said in a previous interview with the Sierra Sun.

Rossmann said that during the hearing the judge said he realized this is a bigger case than he initially anticipated.

Rossmann also said Judge Karlton “grilled the government” and expressed concerns with project size, not serving a recreational purpose and the role of the Federal Transit Administration.

The center would include six bus bays, a 130-lot parking area, an office and a passenger waiting area.

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