Tahoe-Truckee Realtors taking stand against ridge line development | SierraSun.com

Tahoe-Truckee Realtors taking stand against ridge line development

Margaret Moran
mmoran@sierrasun.com

TAHOE-TRUCKEE, Calif. — Two of the region's largest Realtor groups are taking a stance against the potential for future ridge line development within the Lake Tahoe Basin.

In recent weeks, the Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors and the Incline Village Board of Realtors adopted a standing policy that supports ridge line protection from "obtrusive man-modified structures or features."

While a representative from each board said the controversial Martis Valley West Parcel Project brought the matter to the forefront, the policy is not directed at any individual project, but rather, for broader land-use purposes.

"To date, the board has found it imprudent to become entangled in the fine-grained specifics of a given project proposal," said John Falk, professional advocate for Tahoe Sierra Board of Realtors. "Rather, TSBOR looks to the broader and far-reaching policy level implications on those occasions that the organization offers commentary/testimony during public hearings. … Our overarching objective is to shape goals, policies, programs, codes and procedures for the betterment of the community."

Tracy Saunders, president of the Incline Village Board of Realtors, added that the hope is its policy will be considered when projects are being reviewed and policy is being made by governing bodies.

"We really want to preserve the pristine nature of where our clients are buying real estate," she said. "We're not anti-development — we're anti-ridge line development."

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Originally, the Martis Valley West Parcel Project, which aims to shift a development designation from a large parcel east of Highway 267 to the west for conservation purposes, proposed residential units within the Lake Tahoe Basin.

In response to community criticism, the basin component of the Martis Valley project was eliminated in late January, with the proposal to cluster all development in Martis Valley.

The Incline Village Board of Realtors adopted its ridge line policy on Feb. 24, after the basin component for Martis Valley West was pulled.

"We want to make sure going forward ridge line protection is addressed in all projects, not just one project specifically," Saunders said, emphasizing the board's larger community outlook.

Meanwhile, options for the Tahoe Basin property are being analyzed with Martis Valley West, but no application has been submitted, Blake Riva, senior partner with project developer Mountainside Partners said Monday.

When asked about the policies the Realtor boards adopted, Riva said: "We are aware of certain organizations making their view points known. We will be following land use policy as set forth by the governmental agencies. It's part of the public review process."

However, it's those types of governmental and land-use policies — such as those from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, along with area development plans that are in the works — that the Realtor boards hope to impact or influence.

Saunders and Falk said the Realtor boards will forward their unified stance to government agencies when appropriate, such as when area plans are being discussed or future development is on the table.

"We invest a great deal of time and effort in the general planning process of cities and counties, or in the unique case of TRPA, the regional plan," Falk said. "We seek opportunities to improve upon the policies and practices of special districts … again, looking to make whichever unit of local government as fair, functional, efficient and effective as possible.

"TSBOR seeks to protect, defend and advance private property rights."

Martis Valley West project update

On Feb. 27, Placer County released a revised notice of preparation of an Environmental Impact Report for the Martis Valley West Parcel Project.

The deadline to submit written comments is 5 p.m., March 30. They can be mailed to Environmental Coordination Services, Community Development Resource Agency, 3091 County Center Drive, Suite 190 Auburn, CA 95603; faxed to 530-745-3080 or emailed to cdraecs@placer.ca.gov.

Previously submitted comments on the scope of the environmental study will be considered.

A hard copy of the NOP is available at the Kings Beach, Tahoe City and Truckee libraries and Placer County Community Development Resource Agency.

Look for an update on the Martis Valley West Parcel Project next week in the Sierra Sun.