Lawsuit over planned transit center in 64 acres to be decided Friday
A Friday court hearing in Sacramento will decide the fate of the Tahoe City transit center.
“This is the main event so to speak,” said Tony Rossman, the attorney representing the Tahoe Tavern and Tahoe Shores homeowners who sued the transit center.
The litigated plan to build a bus center at the U.S. Forest Service parcel known as “64 acres” was approved in December of 2005 by the Placer County Supervisors.
The Sacramento federal court judge will either announce his decision on the suit at the hearing or issue his ruling following the meeting, said Rossman.
Either way, the hearing is the final step in the lawsuit process.
The ruling can be appealed to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, said Rossman.
The homeowners sued 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.
“We feel it’s a pretty strong case,” said Rossman. “That being said there are no guarantees.”
Placer County attorney Rick Crabtree will defend the county’s decision on the matter. The U.S. Forest Service and the Federal Transit Administration are also named in the lawsuit.
Crabtree was not available for comment Wednesday. But in a previous interview with the Sierra Sun on the lawsuit, he said the opponents’ case against the county was simply an attempt to move the project away from their properties.
“The opponents are simply owners of condos near the transit center who would prefer it be located somewhere else,” said Crabtree. “Anyone who has driven through Tahoe City in the summer knows there is a need for this project.”
Despite the litigation, Placer County has moved ahead with plans to build the transit center. Designs are currently being completed for the project.
The center would include six bus bays, a 130-lot parking area, an office and a passenger waiting area.