Northstar community votes ‘yes’ on Measure U


On Tuesday, the Northstar community voted “yes” on Measure U in a landslide.

The measure is currently passing with 86.67% of the vote. Out of 105 votes cast, Measure U was approved with 91 votes in favor and 14 opposed.

Measure U will impose a $219 fee annually per parcel in the Northstar Community Services District for 10 years. This will provide up to $450,000 in annual funding, which will go toward improving wildfire prevention by removing fire hazards such as dry brush and dead trees. It will also improve evacuation routes and add firebreaks — gaps in vegetation used as roadblocks to fires — and also supply residents with green waste disposal options.

The funding will go directly to the Northstar Fire Department, and will include annual adjustments as well as exceptions for low income home owners. A citizen oversight committee will oversee the initiative, according to the measure.

Concerns were raised following the Caldor Fire regarding fire safety and a need for additional evacuation routes in the event that a fire were to reach other regions of Lake Tahoe. Approximately 49,800 people were evacuated during the Caldor Fire. This measure was raised in light of those concerns by the Board of Directors of the Northstar Community Services District.

Ted Charter, a Northstar resident, said he is not opposed to fire mitigation, but believes that there may be some underlying inequities involved with the measure. Charter said that because Northstar Ski Resort owns a large portion of the land that will reap the benefits of the measure, Vail should offer a larger contribution.

“My problem with the proposition is that the proponents have not made it clear that the clearing of Vail property is being subsidized by the homeowners of Northstar … Vail should be paying their fair share,” Charter said.

Leaders in the Northstar community who endorsed the measure included the board president of the Northstar Community Services District, Sawmill Heights community manager, president of Sierra Watch, the fire chief of the Northstar Fire Department, and the president of the Northstar Property Owners Association.

Elizabeth White is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at

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