August 27, 2007
Although Mr. Syme’s guest column (“Just say no’ harms environmental and community groups'” Sierra Sun Aug. 20) contains a number of inaccuracies. I know of many people who will be writing to address each and every inaccuracy. I wish to address the single inaccuracy, which, if true, would hold the most weight.
The Summit community is not divided. The community is almost universally against the Foster/Syme project as proposed. Fortunately, a DSAA survey, contracted to a third party, will be coming out soon, which will undoubtedly verify this assertion, an assertion that is borne out of numerous discussions with Summit residents. The DSAA survey should demonstrate the real public opinion regarding the proposed project, and should demonstrate how unified the Summit community is in opposing some of the major portions of the proposed project, specifically the dredging of the Serene Lakes, the significantly increased traffic, the hideous sprawl of Lake Camp, the fractional housing/high density of Ski Camp, and the proposal to build near Point Mariah at all.
This Summit community opposition has already been demonstrated in a less formal prior survey of Serene Lakes residents, but the DSAA survey will encompass the entire Summit, including folks impacted by Foster/Syme’s potential proposals to take water from the Yuba River.
It is easy for Mr. Syme to assert that the proposed project has public support. I challenge Mr. Syme to demonstrate their alleged community support. Please back up your claims of folks contacting you in support of the project. Who are these folks? Perhaps Foster/Syme got some less-than negative feedback before their spring presentation outlining the proposed project, but since then, the public word has been all negative. So, except for a couple of folks, the end of the bell curve, where is the public support?
Our family is new to the Serene Lakes area, as we bought our home in March 2007. I believe strongly that the homeowners of Serene Lakes are quite united that we do not want the development of Foster/ Syme to despoil our beautiful environment.
Serene Lakes is an area that is enjoyed by many people, not simply residents. I have met visitors from Truckee, Sacramento and all counties between who come up for the day to enjoy the accessible, lovely, and peaceful lakes. To lose it to further development would be shameful, not only for the homeowners of Serene Lakes, but for present and future visitors.
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Serene Lakes is a jewel, one for which we take responsibility. Who else will protect it from likely dredging, etc., etc., etc.? We have much to lose. I invite all readers to come up and visit Serene Lakes to see how united we are, and to enjoy a refuge which needs our protection.
I could not believe my eyes when I read Mr. Symes’ letter in the My Turn section (“Just say no’ harms environmental and community groups'” Sierra Sun Aug. 20). Does he really think that the vague vitriolic comments and inaccurate facts he voiced are going to convince the public he is “the good guy” and all of those nasty residents and environmental groups are selfishly hoarding the access to “The Wilderness?”
Fortunately there are laws to protect the public from private exploitation of everyone’s future. Check out the real facts at http://www.savedonner summit .org. Please. Your children will thank you.
Imagine, if you will, an intelligent person from another part of the world. They are placed in the middle of the area called Serene Lakes on Donner Summit, given a brief history of the Summit, its surroundings, the infrastructure and then given the vision for what the Foster/Syme/Royal Gorge contingent is planning as far as developing the Summit. No doubt the first words out of their mouths would be, “What are they (F/S) thinking?” Next would be, “They want to add how many units?” And the questions go on from there. Let’s face it, developers develop. That is how they make their money. They don’t go for one or ten units, they go big.
What Foster/Syme is proposing for the Summit is absolutely ludicrous. Adding 130 percent of (the existing) housing that is “Green” or not, is not a sustainable option.
There has and will continue to be a great deal of discussion regarding water quality, air quality, sewage concerns, noise pollution, the effect of the development on areas at lower elevations and the list goes on and on. The bottom line is this: There are a very small percentage of people who are embracing this project. I would wager to say that they have never hiked the ridge above Van Norden Meadow with their children. I did recently and was surprised and ultimately sickened by the amount of “pink tape” that I can only assume was left by surveyors scoping out what may soon become a housing tract.
I think the spin is called “Ski Camp.” Wonderful. More traffic, people in SUVs, more noise, more pollution. Oh that’s right… this is going to be a “Green” development. I almost forgot.
Kirk Syme is obviously not impressed with what he has heard from the community so far. He has chosen to bash us publicly as non-obliging tree-huggers who cannot be considered civilized (“Just say no’ harms environmental and community groups'” Sierra Sun Aug. 20). His hope is to somehow divide and conquer.
I’m sorry Mr. Syme, but you have done the exact opposite by uniting a community not because of a desire for no further development. Rather a desire to protect a way of life we currently have from a project that if built as currently proposed, dooms our habitat, environment and water resources. Doubling the size of a community in a place as fragile as Donnor Summit without careful planning is not only stupid but extremely reckless for the generations that come after us. All you have to do is take a leisurely canoe ride on Serene Lakes in mid-August to see what impact our existing 1,000 lots has on water levels. Adding another 1,000 would be devastating.
I suggest to you Mr. Syme to work with, not against, the SLPOA group that represents the majority of the residents your project impacts. Our children would expect nothing less.
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