Lieutenant Governor: Avoid lawsuit on Sandy Beach | SierraSun.com

Lieutenant Governor: Avoid lawsuit on Sandy Beach

Greyson Howard
Sierra Sun

Courtesy IllustrationAn architectural rendering shows some of the units proposed for the Sandy Beach project in Tahoe Vista.

The California Lieutenant Governor has weighed in on Tahoe Vista development as a group opposed to the Sandy Beach project contemplates legal action.

Lt. Governor John Garamendi sent a letter to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency regarding the transfer of Tourist Accommodation Units, or TAUs, in the Sandy Beach project that would build 39 time shares and six affordable homes on the current 6.25-acre campground site.

“The transfer and expansion of TAUs that is currently taking place blatantly ignores both the spirit and intent of the rules and definitions of TAUs,” Garamendi wrote in the letter to the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

He wrote the intent was to apply to 300 square-foot buildings like the cabins currently at Sandy Beach, but are being “distorted” to allow for 3,000 square-foot timeshares.

Two groups ” The League to Save Lake Tahoe and Friends of Tahoe Vista ” served the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency with a lawsuit Tuesday, challenging the agency’s approval of the project, said Ron Grassi, Co-Conservation Chair for the Tahoe Sierra Club.

The groups have also appealed the Placer County Planning Commission’s approval of the project, which will be considered Monday by the Placer County Board of Supervisors, he said.

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If the board doesn’t decide to reconsider, Placer will also be served, he said.

“What it really comes down to is the Sandy Beach project is very, very dense,” Grassi said. “We don’t need more fractional homes in Tahoe, we need more recreational.”

Friends of Tahoe Vista have collected 379 signatures for a petition for the appeal, said Ellie Waller, a member of the group.

Waller estimated this represents about 95 percent of the Tahoe Vista community.

“This community is screaming for some help,” said Leah Kaufman, another Tahoe Vista resident and member of the group.

In his letter, Garamendi urged the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to enforce the “clear intent” of the Tourist Accommodation Units to avoid litigation.

“There is no need to engage in timely and costly lawsuits that will do nothing to further our common goal of the sustainable preservation of Lake Tahoe,” Garamendi wrote.

Dennis Oliver, spokesman for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, said the agency hasn’t had time to review or respond to the lawsuit.

Project owners Tahoe Vista Partners, LLC could not be reached by Sierra Sun press time.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors will consider the appeal on Monday, Oct. 20 at 2 p.m. Granlibakken in Tahoe City.