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North Shore industrial lot to be restored

Ryan Salm/Sierra SunPlacer County Public Works is looking to purchase a lot off of National Avenue behind the TNT Materials batch plant, restoring the land bordering a stream that crosses the property.
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Placer County is studying an industrial parcel on National Avenue in Tahoe Vista with the intention of restoring a portion of the property that’s within a stream environmental zone, officials said.

The county is researching the 2.5-acre property that is currently zoned for public service industrial use, and once the site of the Truckee North Tahoe Materials concrete batch plant.

But the county has not entered escrow to buy the parcel, said Deputy Director of Public Works Peter Kraatz.



“We are still definitely in the exploration mode of looking to acquire this property,” Kraatz said. “We don’t have all the information on the due diligence activities, for us to make a decision on whether we’re going to make an offer or not.”

A stream running through the property drains into Snow Creek, which flows into Beaver Pond, known to some residents as Tahoe Vista Pond, said Karen Van Epps of the North Tahoe Development Watch.



“If we have the opportunity to think about a stream environmental zone which is just on the east side of National that goes right into a pond that goes right into the lake ” it’s been pretty scary what’s been dumped in there in the past,” Van Epps said.

Kraatz said the parcel, which is currently used by TNT Materials for equipment storage, fell within one of the county’s water-quality project areas.

“Through our existing commissions analysis, we’ve quickly determined that there’s a stream environmental zone that’s been impacted due to commercial use,” Kraatz said. “We look for the opportunities to acquire this land to restore functionality of this particular stream environmental zone.”

The county first looked at the property two years ago, and intends to fund the transaction with state grants, Kraatz said. Making an offer is contingent on receiving funding from the Sierra Nevada Cascade Acquisition Funding Grant.

The Tahoe Vista Community Plan, written in 1996, identified 41 percent of Tahoe Vista’s 92 acres of stream environmental zones as disturbed to some extent.

“[The community plan] does say that we want to restore our stream environmental zones ” anything that’s been identified,” Van Epps said.

The county does not foresee any complications with turning land zoned as public service industrial into an environmentally protected area, Kraatz said.

“The fact of the matter is the property has been sitting for over two years essentially doing nothing with respect to providing anything to the economy that I’m aware of,” Kraatz said.

The county also intends to eliminate blight on the property beyond the stream zone, Kraatz said. Any use beyond retaining it as open space would be subject to grant requirements.

“The objective at the end of the day is to take that land and do some watershed restoration, so to speak, converting it into a stream environmental zone,” Kraatz said.


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