My Turn: Trouble at Lake Tahoe
Special to the Sun
CRYSTAL BAY, Nev. and#8212;-Probably most, if not all, readers of this article have heard of the famous fictional detective character Nancy Drew and her mystery stories which have been very popular for generations. For those of you not familiar with her, or have not endeavored to read all of her escapades, the title to this article just happens to also be the title to one of her mystery books published in the mid 90s. The story is about a plot to rig a water skiing competition on the lake, but I couldnand#8217;t resist temptation for a great title and lead into my article.
Fun and games aside, I am writing this article to once again express my deep concern for the development plans currently under consideration for the Crystal Bay Boulder Bay project. I am going to share some of the opinions and concerns I have heard from local residents and even visitors I have encountered who are worried about Lake Tahoeand#8217;s development activity. I am also going to touch on the idea of a community living by a certain set of rules and#8212; code if you will. For what is a community that doesnand#8217;t listen to the voice of its people and live by certain rules?
Here are just a few of the opinions and concerns I have heard:
and#8226; I overheard a gentleman at the Reno airport chatting about his business visit to Reno. He mentioned that he was able to visit the lake but was very concerned and saddened over the amount of development he witnessed in only 10 years since his last visit.
and#8226; I chatted with a teacher from Truckee who expressed deep concern for Crystal Bay. She was not sure how it could handle the barrage of development planned for such a small area. She also said the traffic was bad enough on the north shore and dreaded the idea of the resort increasing their parking by 158 spaces.
and#8226; In a restaurant very local to Crystal Bay I chatted with a retired gentleman who is a resident of Crystal Bay. He was not pleased about the project, but felt helpless to do anything about it. He threw his hands in the air, shrugged his shoulders and said, and#8220;But what can I do about it, what can I do?and#8221; I urged him to show up at TRPA meetings and express his opinion and that doing so would count.
Is this the kind of disposition we want from residents who live around the lake, or even visitors?
Letand#8217;s talk about the environmental organizations around the lake that help to serve and protect Lake Tahoe and its beautiful grandeur. These organizations are also very concerned with the Boulder Bay project, its size, the potential impact on the Crystal Bay community and Lake Tahoe at large.
First and foremost, none of these organizations is against the redevelopment of the Crystal Bay Biltmore resort. None. Let us please get that fact straight.
What the organizations are against, what I am against, and many more residents as well, is the pure size of this project. And it is the pure size of this project that is being granted by violating the rules (the code) set forth by the TRPA.
These environmental organizations are very concerned with these code violations, the special exceptions, being granted by the TRPA for the (Biltmore) Boulder Bay project and the precedence being set for future resort projects. These are the rules I mentioned earlier that all communities must live by in order to achieve harmony and balance.
We all understand that redevelopment can lead to many good things:
and#8226; BMPs being implemented which will reduce the sediment flow into the lake and#8212; hooray!
and#8226; Construction jobs for the duration of the project and#8212; outstanding!
and#8226; A fresh look which will presumably be good for the resortand#8217;s business and#8212; and help support other businesses!
and#8226; More tax dollars for the community and#8212; I sure hope so!
But what we all still struggle to understand is how can a resort that is currently at 110,000 square foot capacity be increased to 460,000 sq. ft. (a whopping 318 percent increase) and not be detrimental to the local community? Someone please help me to understand.
So I ask the governing board of TRPA, the local pro business supporters, and the folks who own the Boulder Bay project and#8230; are we getting the code right? If you really believe we are, I urge you to please go back and read the title of my article again.
and#8212; Derrek Aaron is an Incline Village resident.
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