Northstar lift project hearing set | SierraSun.com
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Northstar lift project hearing set

JAMES BALL, Sierra Sun

A public meeting Wednesday, May 19, at 1 p.m. in the Tahoe City Public Utility District board room will determine the future of a planned new lift at Northstar-at-Tahoe.

Named the North Lookout Ski Pod Project, the project, slated for construction this summer, will feature either a fixed grip or detachable quad lift on the north side of Lookout Mountain.

“We are in the final permit stages,” said Erin Bernall, spokesperson for Northstar. “This project will open up about 200 acres of off-piste or advanced terrain.”

New terrain to be opened

Bernall said the terrain would feature a 1,300-foot vertical drop.

“We are looking at cutting four new runs,” Bernall said, adding that a fifth run could be built later.

She said tree cutting will be one of the less difficult items to push through, because the land is privately owned.

Slated for discussion at the meeting is what, if any, environmental impact the project will have on surrounding areas.

It will also be a chance for residents close to the proposed trails to voice any concerns they may have.

Bernall said some of the issues addressed will include how the project will affect new customer business at Northstar and what impact it will have on Northstar Drive, particularly in terms of traffic. Northstar’s Environmental Impact Report has been submitted to the Placer County Planning Commission, which will consider the proposal at the meeting.

“Right now, we’re just holding tight for the final stamp of approval from the county,” Bernall said.

She said the lift would compare to the ones currently in place at Northstar’s main runs, and could move up to

2,200 people per hour.

“The terrain is all advanced,” Bernall said. “Steeper than the runs we have on the backside.”

She said the runs would be visible from Highway 267 in Martis Valley, but should not obstruct any views of the nearby property owners.

“You won’t see it if you are a property owner,” she said.

As for construction, if the plan is approved, Bernall said Northstar hopes to begin building this summer, with an eye toward opening the runs at the beginning of the 1999-2000 ski season.

“In a perfect world, we would hope to start the project by July,” Bernall said.

Northstar’s ski operations closed for the summer April 25.

For information, call the planning department at (530) 889-7470 or Northstar at 562-1010.


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