Open space concerns: Tahoe Donner homeowners worried about proposed building |

Open space concerns: Tahoe Donner homeowners worried about proposed building

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; A group of Tahoe Donner homeowners are upset about the prospect of a new multi-use facility which could be built on the border of large plots of open space in the area.

The project, according to the Tahoe Donner Association, is the result of 15 years of increased usage and tremendous residential growth in the area, thus demanding greater facilities.

In an article posted on the association’s website, current maintenance and forestry facilities are described as and#8220;fundamentally inadequateand#8221; and and#8220;significantly under capacity to meet the future needs of the association,and#8221; findings that stem from Tahoe Donner’s 2007 General Plan, which recommended either new construction or renovation of Tahoe Donner’s existing facilities.

However, homeowners in the area are concerned and#8212; not necessarily by the creation of new facilities and#8212; but that three of the four potential sites would place the structure at the edge of Tahoe Donner’s vast open space, a portal to the area’s 35 miles of single-track and fire-road trails.

and#8220;There (are) some mighty steamed homeowners up here,and#8221; said Tahoe Donner homeowner Kathleen Doler.

Doler said she has collected 175 signatures from homeowners who are angry about the following three proposed sites:

and#8226; At the end of Alder Creek Road, an eighth of a mile beyond the pavement.

and#8226; On Skislope Way, at the Green Gate trailhead.

and#8226; On Skislope Way, but 1,000 feet above the Green Gate trailhead.

The fourth site, the only one situated away from open space land, is on Northwoods Boulevard, next to the Golf Course Maintenance facility.

Doler said homeowners are concerned environmental problems will ensue with added noise from the new facility’s maintenance operations and forestry work. Further, Doler said she feels homeowner opinions have not been listened to by the association’s board members during a May 15 board meeting.

Annie Rosenfeld, Tahoe Donner’s director of facilities and risk management, said the association’s management understands resident worries; she said they are premature, as environmental studies are still under way and the association is far from ready to choose a site.

and#8220;People can get the wrong idea because they don’t have all the facts,and#8221; Rosenfeld said. and#8220;We’re not anywhere near deciding upon one of our sites.and#8221;

Unearthing the reasoning behind the site locations, Rosenfeld said it was the result of a four-year research and development project and thousands of hours of professional input by the association’s board of directors, the finance committee and the general plan committee, along with maintenance studies rendered by outside architectural, engineering and operational professionals.

and#8220;It’s not a hidden agenda by any means,and#8221; Rosenfeld said. and#8220;The board is not going to make this site decision until they hear from homeowners.and#8221;

Rosenfeld said the forestry workers on site would only be tasked with preserving trails and preventing fires through defensible space work.

Despite Rosenfeld’s comments, Doler said homeowners still see the proposal as something that strays from previous plans and recommendations which aimed to keep facilities off open space land, consolidating infrastructure to a single site.

and#8220;When people find out about this, they’re usually appalled because this is our open space and our trails,and#8221; said homeowner Beth Thomas. and#8220;In our governing documents, there are six key findings, and the No. 1 highest priority is to maintain and enhance the open space areas.and#8221;

Thomas questioned why a facility couldn’t be built farther from opens pace, similar to the U.S. Forest Service’s new facility near the intersection of Highway 267 and Interstate 80.

Both Doler and Thomas said the site proposals open the door for potential blight to Tahoe Donner’s open space; they will continue to lobby against the facility proposal in hopes a better solution can be found.

and#8220;I don’t care what they say and#8212; we’ve got the numbers,and#8221; Doler said.

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