Park expansion plans get public hearing
A small but passionate group of residents concerned about the expansion of Donner Memorial State Park into Coldstream Canyon made their comments public during recent informal hearings held in Truckee and Tahoe City by the State of California.
The purpose of the meetings was twofold: to collect public input that will eventually be delivered to the state legislature and to satisfy a requirement of the Public Resource Code, which requires that a public hearing be held in the city where the acquisition takes place, said Skip Mills, a planner with the California Department of State Parks Office of Acquisition.
Donner Memorial State Park got the green light to expand by approximately 2,500 acres late last year when the Trust for Public Land, an environmental group, reached an agreement with the Croman Corporation, a timber company from White River, Ore.
The timber company agreed to part with 1,970 acres between Donner Lake and Anderson Ridge, the majority of land involved in the deal.
The deal, which includes a small number of other willing land owners, will essentially triple the size of the park’s property when complete. The acquisition will take place in several phases and will include Schallenberger Ridge, the large promontory south of Donner Lake.
Larry Hahn is the owner of Cold Streams Adventure Unlimited Inc. a guided adventure company.
Hahn attended both meetings primarily because he is concerned over how the acquisition could affect the value of his property or potential development plans.
Hahn has requested authority from Placer County to subdivide 55.8 acres into three, 10-acre parcels, with a remainder of 25.8 acres. He hopes to build additional cottages or homes and to construct a lodge for a bed and breakfast.
“I’ve had plans to do this before the park ever had plans to acquire more land back there,” he said.
In his written comments to the state, Hahn said the public was not given adequate and timely notice and wants the hearings to be rescheduled.
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